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Is Oprah's Chicago shutdown really about the 2016 Olympics?

Many have said that it's awfully selfish of Oprah to shut down a portion of North Michigan Avenue for more than 48 hours and disrupt countless Chicagoans' commute fresh off a holiday.

But was it really her idea or could there be more to this behind the scenes? Let's mull over the evidence, shall we?

  1. Major takeover of one of the city's most popular streets for an extended period of time.

  2. Lights, cameras, and an international broadcast.

  3. The IOC decision on the 2016 host is days away (Oct. 2).

It doesn't take much imagination to leap to the conclusion that Oprah's big party --- set for Tuesday --- could be a publicity stunt, part of a larger coordinated effort to woo Olympic voters.

Many people on Twitter have been contemplating such a link:

  1. Michael McDonald
    chefmcdonald RT @EllenMalloy: Chatting with someone last night about the Oprah street closing. We know this is an Olympic stunt, right?
  2. stupidica
    stupidica New:: Oprah Winfrey taping to shut down Michigan Avenue (Obama/Daley Olympics boost?) http://bit.ly/GTloO
  3. Anita Weissman
    AnitaWeissman Do you doubt the price of Oprah's support of the Olympics in Chicago was the use of Michigan Avenue?
  4. RoySantoro
    RoySantoro Lets see trib poll says people dont want olympics... oprah gets to shutdown michigan avenue... to promote city... connection ?????
  5. Van
    Optionstud @2016olympicbid this Oprah street closing is just a preview of the heavy handedness that will occur if chicago gets the olympics
  6. AngelaWoody
    AngelaWoody So Oprah can shut down one of the largest shopping strips in the world If u had Oprah $ what would you do Chi getting press We need it! 2016

What do you think? Something to this or is it all just foolish? Leave a comment below and join the conversation.

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8 Comments

Danny said:

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MSNBC report this morning suggested it was Mayor's way of boosting tourism to goose Mag Mile sales going into xmas shopping season.

Craig Kanalley said:

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Interesting, Danny. Thanks for sharing. Don't think I'd be surprised.

topcop said:

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Totally Agree. This is purely a stunt for the Olympic voters. There's no reason for Daley to shut down Chicago's "main street" for 2-days. Merchants in the area should be upset. They are going to lose business because shoppers are going to stay away from the chaos. Thanks Mayor Daley and Oprah!!!

Craig Kanalley said:

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That's what I'm thinking to. Too bad.

Craig G. said:

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I think that it is a total crock that Oprah has been allowed by Richard "The Tyrant" Daley to shut-down "The Magnificient mile" to do her show.
Oprah is being completeky selfish. The only reason she wants to shut down Michigan ave. is to outdo Rachel Ray's "Block Party" in Wrigleyville. Oprah's ego will not allow a peron like Rachel to outdo her. Oprah is like,"How dare Rachel Ray come to Chicago and try to beat me out by having her block party. Rachel, who do you think you are? I created you Rachel, and Rachel , you woulld be nobody if it were not for me. I'll show you , Rachel who rules Chicago, and " The Tyrant" Daley.
I am shutting -down Michigan ave to do the Oprah Show. How do you like thems apples?"

You can rest asssureed that "The Tyrant" got some sort of kick-back for her to do her show

Posted on September 7, 2009 10:18 AMReply .

Craig Kanalley said:

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Interesting Rachel theory. I'm not sure I buy into it though. Even if there's something to it, I'm sure there's much more to this decision behind the scenes..

Logan McCombs said:

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Wow! I never thought of it like that. This could be a good thing for the bid, which by the way... I Support The Bid! =)

Craig Kanalley said:

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Nice Logan! I won't be devastated if Chicago doesn't get it, but I'd like to see them get it.

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