Category: Chicago 2016

Chicago 2016 Update: State backing still needed to make Chicago 2016 bid work

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According to a spokesman for Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, the state never filed legislation to grant Chicago its $150 million net if the Olympics were to come to Chicago in 2016.

Peter Sandusky, spokesman for Chicago 2016 said while the funds are needed to make the bid stronger, the state has until the February 2009 deadline.

The state has recently signed other big checks for Chicago, most notably, its $530 million bailout of the Chicago Transit Authority. But given the Chicago 2016 committee’s initial $2 billion estimate for bringing the games to the city, it’ll need a lot more than $150 million. Let’s just see if someone can make it happen.

Chicago 2016 Update: Chicago Olympics price tag estimated at $2 billion

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Chicago 2016 committee officials revealed yesterday how much they think the 2016 Olympics would cost if the Games came to Chicago: $2 billion.

Where did they get that figure? Add $900 million in venue construction, spread across five venues, and $1.1 billion for an Olympic Village to be built near McCormick Place.

What do I think of this estimate? I wrote last year about how the London 2012 bid steamrolled its initial budget, its cost (at that time, mind you) quadrupling to a behemoth $19.5 billion dollars.

How about a federal bailout for the CTA? Maybe the IOC can chip in some dough. But I digress.

According to the committee, 45 percent of the tickets would cost less than $50, with 500,000 tickets set aside for children as part of “Chicago’s youth outreach.’’ Total ticket revenue is estimated at $705 million.

What do you think?

Chicago 2016 Update: Prague to drop bid for 2016 Summer Olympics…maybe

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The Associated Press reported that Prague may withdraw its bid for the 2016 Olympics unless it gets money from the Czech government. Tomas Petera, head of Prague 2016 said, “quite frankly we are pressed for time”.

According to estimates, the Prague bid needs about $6.7 billion to compete.

Petera said, “without it our chances equal zero. We are going to have to make a final decision whether to bid or not some time between now and Jan. 14, depending on whether we have the guarantees”.

One down, five to go, I guess.

Chicago 2016 Update: Oddsmakers put Chicago in lead for 2016 Summer Olympics

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You heard it here. Well, maybe not first, but second or third, hopefully.

The Chicago Tribune’s Phil Hersh reported today the International Olympic Committee won’t give Rio de Janeiro a boost because the city is hosting the 2014 World Cup.

Interesting, but Hersh also reported several British betting sites are putting as high as 1.7-1 odds on Chicago to be awarded the 2016 Summer Olympics. Unfortunately, when i tried pulling up the odds on BetBrain.com, I couldn’t find them.

Anyway, Rio is listed as 3.3-1 and Tokyo at 7.7-1. Bet365.com, has Chicago at 1.72-1, Rio at 3.25-1 and Tokyo at 8-1.

What odds do you give Chicago?

Chicago 2016 Update: Al Sharpton to Chicago committee – Fight police brutality or risk Olympic bid

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According to a story in today’s Chicago Tribune, Rev. Al Sharpton seems to be taking his war on Chicago’s police brutality to an international level.

Sharpton is demanding the city show evidence of “rampant police brutality,” and if it doesn’t, he says he’ll lobby the International Olympic Committee to not pick Chicago as the host city for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

“There has not been a real response, in terms of a concrete, this-is-what-we’re-going-to-do” plan, Sharpton said in the article. “The mayor cannot go around the world acting like it’s a beautiful city to come to when we’ve got this glaring problem.”

Patrick Sandusky, spokesman for the Chicago 2016 committee, declined to comment. Personally, I think the committee will issue some sort of statement in the near future, saying the Chicago bid is strong enough to withstand any sort of lobbying efforts made by Sharpton.

But what do I know?

Chicago 2016 Update: Chicago 2016 needs to focus on big picture, says U.K. official

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In order for the 2016 Olympics to be worthwhile, they have to have a lasting legacy upon the city, and not just by becoming another star on the city’s flag.

Trick is, how does this happen without breaking the bank entirely?

This was one of the topics in Tessa Jowell speech to the city’s Metropolitan Planning Council last week, writes Greg Hinz in an article for Crain’s Chicago Business. Jowell, United Kingdom’s minister for Olympics and London and one of the people responsible for the London 2012 Olympics, says Chicago 2016 officials need to focus on the Games’ possible legacy if the Windy City wins the bid.

She also spoke of the city’s plan to build a temporary stadium in Washington Park, which she says is a good idea, as IOC officials will take cost into account now more than ever.

Chicago 2016 Update: Gray Line, eh?

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Check out this piece by Chicago Reader reporter Ben Joravsky about Mike Payne, whose “Gray Line” proposal for the CTA actually doesn’t seem like a bad idea. (Scroll down the page to see the story, titled “Man With a Plan.”

Payne, an unemployed typewriter repairman, proposes running the Gray Line from the Loop, down near McCormick Place (and the site of a proposed Olympic Village for the 2016 Olympics), and down to 111th Street on the Southeast side.

It probably won’t happen, but I certainly hope Ron Huberman reads the piece.