Olympics In Haiku: Choose Rio


The Chicago Games?
A terrible idea
We can't afford it

Mayor Daley tells us not to worry, he's getting insurance to protect the taxpayers. Do you trust him?  Crain's Chicago Business suggests you shouldn't:

For example, there's no insurance against the risk that private lenders won't shell out $1 billion to finance construction of the Olympic Village, as Messrs. Daley and Ryan predict they will. And there's no coverage against shortfalls in corporate sponsorship sales, which they predict will rake in $1.8 billion, two-thirds more than London expects to collect for the 2012 games.

Insurance against overruns on the construction of Olympics venues tops out at 10% over budgeted costs, in a city where major public works projects have come in at two or three times estimates. Another uninsured assumption in the budget is $246 million in contributions from private donors, a source already tapped for $72 million to finance the city's bid.

It's going to cost us money.  If we're lucky (like Turin after the 2006 games) we'll only be out $195 million.  But it's also possible it will cost $25.7 billion more than expected, as Beijing learned last year.

But our leaders still think it's a good idea ...

They're sending Michelle
Instead of the President
I think that's good news

When I heard that Michelle Obama would be traveling to Copenhagen to sell Chicago's bid to the IOC I figured that was good news. Our First Lady is wonderful, but (like me) some people thought that without her husband making the plea we could lose our chance to  go even deeper into debt  host the games.

But then ...

Can the IOC
Say no to Oprah Winfrey
When no one else can?

Yesterday I read that the all-powerful Oprah would be joining Mrs. Obama.  We've already experienced Ms. Winfrey's ability to get what she wants, so now I'm worried again.

It's time to speak up
Let the IOC know that
We don't want the games

Some responsible citizens have created a website with information you need to know.  Cost overruns, remains of unused venues, and more about other cities that were "lucky" enough to host previous games. They've created a head-to-head comparison of reasons why Rio would be a great city to host the Olympics.  There's even a link so you can easily email the IOC  

So visit their site:
Chicagoans for Rio
Before it's too late!


Leave a comment
  • Out of curiosity, will any of you (Ed Nickow, Chicagoans for Rio, No Games Chicago, etc) return and admit you were wrong if things go as planned? It sure is easy to pass blame every which way with ill-informed statements.

    Will anyone, ever, be held accountable for what they say?

  • In reply to PincoPallino:

    I don't know the people behind Chicagoans for Rio - I heard about their website and thought it was a clever twist on the "we don't want the games" idea. I've never heard of No Games Chicago, although I have a feeling I'd agree with much of their agenda. So I'm just speaking for myself.

    What do you think is "ill-informed" in my post? The information about Daley's misleading statements on insurance coverage is from Crain's Chicago Business. Sure I'm having a little fun with the stuff about Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey going to Copenhagen. But are you suggesting that previous host cities haven't lost millions (or billions) of dollars, or that Chicago isn't running the same risk?

    This is a really bad idea and I'm worried about it costing billions of dollars when there are much more important things that deserve our limited funds. I do not believe that any tourism benefit will outweigh the costs.

    Of course, I could be wrong. And to be honest, if things work as the people at "Chicago2016" are planning, I'll probably be among those bragging about what a great job Chicago did hosting the games - and you can come back here to remind me of how wrong I was.

    But don't you think there's a chance that Daley and those supporting the games could be wrong about the actual cost to taxpayers (as suggested by the Crain's article)?

    I share your concern for holding people accountable for their statements - although I hold no illusions that my little rant here will have much impact on public opinion - and I assume that it applies to those supporting the games as well as those opposing them.

    So how about this idea? Have those public officials who are pushing to hold the games in Chicago sign personal guarantees to cover any cost overruns. That way, if they turn out to be wrong, we can hold them accountable.

  • In reply to PincoPallino:

    I have really mixed feelings. I love any chance to brag on Chicago, but at the same time, I question how fiscally responsible it is to commit to it. If Chicago does win the bid, it will become virtually impossible to say no to anything the city needs to finance it. That could lead to some compromising situations.

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