Category: Chicago 2016

Chicago 2016 Update: Chicagoans beginning to fear Games’ effect; Los Angeles mayor behind Chicago bid.

2016 Update

Just read an interesting piece on the Chicago 2016 bid in In These Times. Mischa Gaus, a Chicago-based writer, wrote “The Olympic Hustle,” a piece about what the Games could do to the city. He highlights it with a bit of history about what previous Olympics have done to its host cities.

It’s an interesting piece. Not one I’d necessarily write, given the magazine’s history, but good nonetheless.

On the opposite end of the editorial spectrum, Kathy Bergen of the Chicago Tribune reported today that L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa co-signed a resolution supporting the city’s Olympic bid. Others signing the resolution were Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer, president of the United States Conference of Mayors; Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, chair of the USCM committee on tourism, arts, parks, entertainment and sports; and Richard M. Daley.

Chicago 2016 Update: ABC 7 Chicago’s Ben Bradley also blogging on the Chicago 2016 bid

2016 Update

Ben Bradley, the ABC 7 Chicago reporter covering the Chicago 2016 bid, is blogging about the Games!

While he doesn’t offer regular updates (the last post is from May 30) what he does offer is a bona-fide press credential. And he’s pretty candid on his blog, too. About his experiences covering the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, he writes:

The Chicago media’s attempts to secure credentials to cover the Pan Am Games may be emblematic of the problems plaguing the organizing committee: We are just five weeks away from opening ceremonies and Rio 2007 has not yet managed to issue non-rights holder credentials to members of the press seeking to cover the Pan Am Games. Typically, this purely bureaucratic task is accomplished nine months before opening ceremonies. Heck, the committee hosting the Summer Olympics in Beijing next summer have already contacted the media to begin the credentialing process.

I look forward to reading more posts from Ben. Keep it up!

Chicago 2016 Update: City, unions discuss long-term contract

2016 Update

With the Chicago 2016 bid on the table, city officials are sitting down to hammer out a long-term contract with 6,000 city workers in several unions, including city electricians and truck drivers, reports Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business.

The contract – which is rumored to last for 10 years – would be unprecedented, as three-year deals are the norm, but it’s an olive branch, as city officials would want to show labor peace before the host city is chosen in two years for the 2016 Olympics.

A point of contention, however, is that these workers would be given the same benefits, but could be paid much higher salaries. This would surely be unfair to all other skilled city workers not represented in these unions.

If the unions are happy, maybe the International Olympic Committee will be happy. Who knows?

Chicago 2016 Update: Olympics over last 20 years displaced more than 2 million people

2016 Update

Not to be an alarmist, but ABC7Chicago.com released a story detailing the millions of people who have been displaced over the last several decades. Why? Because the Olympics came to their town.

Kudos to reporter Ben Bradley for bringing this story to light. He doesn’t pull any punches, either. He begins:

“As Chicago looks to host the 2016 Olympic Games, a new study finds that over the last 20 years more than 2 million people have been displaced as a direct result of the Olympics. Many were low-income renters who were forced out when rents soared soon after a city was awarded the Olympics.

If Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Games is successful, the Olympic stadium and village would be built on the city’s South Side, where some residents wonder how the games would affect their property values and the quality of life.”

Bradley reports that in its preparations for hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing has displaced 1.2 million of its residents. (China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, denies this.) Seoul evicted over 720,000 people to make room for the 1988 Summer Olympics.

“Chicago 2016 will take a balanced approach — working with the community and city and ensuring anywhere the Olympics touch, it will benefit that community,” said Patrick Sandusky, Chicago 2016 spokesman.

We’ll see if the Olympics are coming here in 2009. Until then, we can only wait.

Chicago 2016 Update: Tokyo throws hat in ring for 2016 Olympics

2016 Update

Now it’s Tokyo’s turn.

Yesterday, JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda and Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara both submitted letters of intent to IOC President Jacques Rogge, the first formal step in the bid process for the 2016 Olympics.

With Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and now Tokyo as competition, Chicago’s chances of hosting the games may be looking even slimmer. Then again, Tokyo already hosted the Games in 1964.

Other possible contenders include Rome, Prague, Doha, Qatar and Baku.

Chicago 2016 Update: South Works developers seek OK for South Side retail, housing

2016 Update

A large tract of land on Chicago’s South Side is up for review by. the city’s Department of Planning and Development.

The land, a 530 acre space that runs from 79th to 91st street near Lake Michigan, is where the old U.S. Steel Corp. South Works plant once stood, and it’s now the site for a proposed 17,000 housing units, an extension of Lake Shore Drive and plenty of retail.

The space may be used for Chicago 2016 events, but nobody has approached main developer McCaffery Interests about it.

But it could be the perfect opportunity to make South Side improvements, anyway.

Chicago 2016 Update: London 2012 logo = blech

London 2012 logo

This cost $796,000? My dog could have designed something better than that. Seriously. And who thinks the new logo looks like a jigsaw puzzle?

But, for some reason, it’s the best London 2012 planners could come up with.

Where did this design come from, anyway?
“The new emblem is dynamic, modern and flexible, reflecting a brand-savvy world where people, especially young people, no longer relate to static logos but respond to a dynamic brand that works with new technology and across traditional and new media networks,” said London organizers in a statement.

Me? I would have thrown tomatoes at the organizers. Luckily they hid behind a statement.

As Elliott Harris, a Chicago Sun-Times columnist, said in today’s paper, “some in the audience might find the picture – to use a British phrase – a bit cheeky.”

More like asinine.

Chicago 2016 Update: Chicago’s security status expected to limit costs

2016 Update

The cost of securing an Olympics can get pretty high, I’d imagine. But, reports Kathy Bergen of the Chicago Tribune, Chicago’s bill may be a bit less than that of other cities.

“You have a well-developed infrastructure already in place in Chicago, unlike in Athens, which was building as it was going, slapping paint on as guests were arriving,” said Bob Sikellis, managing director at Vance, a security firm with Olympics experience. “In Athens, you had police officers with rusty revolvers before the games, and updating basic law-enforcement equipment was part of the cost.”

Bergen also interviewed Doug Arnot, director of venues/operations for the bid committee for the Chicago 2016 bid committee:

“Given that Salt Lake City spent $320 million, plus $12.7 million to upgrade security at the airport, and that the 2016 Games are still nearly 10 years away, that puts the likely cost at around $1 billion to secure Chicago, should it win the right to host the games, a decision expected in late 2009. This would represent one-third of likely operating costs,” he said.

In all, it was a well-researched piece. And an interesting one, at that. The thing is, I would like to know some specifics about any preliminary plans that are in place, but that’s just me.