Kap's Corner

Do You Support the Olympic Bid for Chicago?

Approximately 24 hours from now the International Olympic Committee will announce their decision on what city will host the 2016 Olympic Games. There has been a great amount of support for Chicago's bid including tremendous star power throwing their weight behind the quest to land arguably the most visible sporting event in the world.

President Barack Obama and his wife, Oprah Winfrey, Mayor Richard Daley, and many others have joined forces to support the bid and to try to land the games for the Windy City. I support the bid and believe that it will be a great thing for our town to be so visible on the world stage. We are a world class city and those in the world who don't know that yet need to see firsthand just how great a place Chicago is.

Do we need the games to be a world class city? No, we already are. However, by exposing the beauty of Chicago to the rest of the world it could reap us billions in future revenue from travel by tourists to our town. A recent study showed that while the Chicago 2016  committee may be overestimating the value of the games to the area, landing the Olympics should have the effect of hosting 12 consecutive Super Bowls. That's a pretty good boost to our region's economy.

Here is the latest on the race to land the games which could have a huge impact on our region in terms of creating jobs, increasing tourism, and driving tens of millions of dollars to our local stores, hotels, and restaurants for years to come.  The latest poll on whether or not Chicagoans want the games seems to indicate widespread support for bringing the games to the Windy City.

Do you agree? Do you want to see the 2016 games here in Chicago? Weigh with your vote on today's poll question.


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9 Comments

Mel said:

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Of course!

Farinadogs said:

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Absolutely. Do I mind if "Daley's Cronies" Make Money? So What, someone will make it, if you are industrious maybe you can get in on the action as well. Great Ideas, like the Olympics in Chicago take a vision that most people lack or lack the courage to attempt. Anyone have any other plans for Job Creation? I haven't heard any. Stop Complaining and embrace this exciting possibility!

Lou Grant said:

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It isn't that I'm not excited by the prospect of the world coming to Chicago, it is that the power elites in this town have shown they are unable to control themselves at the public trough. So, essentially, I worry that the corrupt nature of the city will line the pockets of a few at the expense of the many.

The second issue I have, and I haven't seen an adequate answer to this, is the plan for maintenance and use of the facilities after the games end. From the Olympic Village to the special purpose facilities, the bill for the upkeep of these Olympic legacies will be given to people several generations in the future. They will have to use them and also maintain them. The city has a treasure trove of wonderful facilities in its parks and libraries and schools. Yet, it has a poor record of using these facilities and maintaining them.

In the case of the parks in particular, the CPD moved away from a largely free model to a model of user fees. While we may applaud the idea of refraining from increased taxes and placing the burden of the use of these facilities on those using them, in general, the facilities do not compete effectively against private gyms and even similar facilities run by groups like the YMCA. In other words, charging for the use of facilities has probably driven users to the private market. In the meantime, the facilities still require upkeep, which the city is unwilling to provide.

In sum, I oppose having the games in Chicago. If they come, I'll be a gracious host. But, like any good citizen, if the IOC awards the city the games I'll be watching for indications these two problems are rearing their heads.

backslap said:

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And noboby but nobody is talking about terrorists concerns and how those will be alleviated, that Atlanta benefitted little after the games, and that Chicago is famous for cost overruns. For example Soldier Field which was a reconstruction project cost $600 million while Miller Park in Milwaukee which opened one earlier than Soldier Field, was built from scratch, and included a retractable roof cost $200 million less. Boy allot of people are going to get rich in this deal and its not going to be any of us. Who cares the arguements for are pretty weak (World Class City, 12 Super Bowls-hey build a dome stadium and get one here for cryin out loud, etc) Besides this country has had 4 Olympics in the last 3 decades...let someone else have them.

Karry Ling said:

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The real issue is how is this going to help get Ron Santo a statue?

*dan bradley said:

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Sure I'd love for Chicago to host them, but Rio would also be a great choice to host South America's first Olympic games. I'm almost torn. All in all I'm a fan of the games, so my vote is yea.

Through 112 votes it's a perfect 50/50 split. That's crazy.

PointSpecial said:

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"President Barack Obama and his wife, Oprah Winfrey?"

???

I would love for Chicago to host the games if it was being done right... but with King Dick as mayor, it won't be. This city is already one of the most congested in this country... and the games will bring everything to even more of a gridlock. There is no expansion of mass transit planned and our 50 year old highway system is inadequate now.

Add to that the fact that the games will do little permanent good... The Olympic Village is the only redeeming feature of the games... and it is at the expense of historical architecture.

The last several games have lost money. London will in 2012, and whoever wins it in 2016 will too. It goes so much farther than simply spending lots of money on the buildings and other infrastructure. While many people will visit Chicago for the games, it's just 2(?) weeks during the summer. What about the other 15 weeks of (unofficial) summer? This is likely Chicago's busiest time for travelers... and people won't come. Look at Beijing... Hotels were empty in the leadup, packed during the games, and empty afterwards. The same will happen in Chicago.

Conventions will find other places to be held. Public workers will have to work overtime... with no additional revenue coming in. There are only so many hotel rooms in this city... and they're usually pretty full.

tom said:

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The comma after his wife means the two of them,then Oprah Winfrey

backslap said:

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Out in the first round of voting, can't wait to see Daley's face. Seems like such a waste.

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