The title says it all. It was announced today by Russell Coutts that Chicago didn’t make the cut. San Diego and Bermuda move forward as the finalist cities.
As I mentioned in the other piece on this, the only thing that will count in the decision is money. There are three sides to money, money coming in, money going out, and then what is left. The official response on why Chicago didn’t make the cut was because of “wind.” With the Protocol of AC35 requiring windspeeds for races between 5 and 25 miles per hour of wind, Lake Michigan delivers that regularly, watch a weather forecast any night of the week.
One could only speculate on money coming in. Sponsors, corporations, philantrhopists, and the government would be on the shorlist of the potentials putting money up.
I have become a pretty big fan of the Illinois Policy Institute. They are an organization dedicated to pointing out government policy that is not working, and offer alternate methods used elsewhere in the country that is working. In recent months they remind us that the City of Chicago has outspent their income, as well as Cook County, and the State of Illinois all for a very long time. To think the government has the money to put up to bring in tourism to attract visitors who would buy housing, meals, in-town travel, by creating jobs, revenue to busineses and taxes – retail, income, etc. is hard to concieve in this State.
But then there is the side where money goes out.
Obviously buildings on the waterfront would have to be built to house the AC63 catamarans, and we all know that waterfront property does not come cheap, especially in a town with the mentality of Daniel Burnham and the Friends of the Park. The amount of time, and string pulling, does cost money. And it would take a lot of time to satisfy all of the constituents to develop relationships and negotiate agreements.
In recent articles from the Illinois Policy Insititute reminded us that Chicago, Cook County and Illinois are unfriendly to small business. Each America’s Cup Team is considered a small business, with less than 100 local employees each. The licensing fees, head taxes, city, county and State taxes makes Illinois much less competitive to do business in than most other States in the union.
So we’ll never know if it was money in, or money out, or a combination of the two that prevents Chicago from winning another major worldwide event (after an unsuccessful bid for the 2016 Olympics not too many years ago). We’ll continue to watch these sporting events from afar instead.
This should be another sounding bell in Illinois that the City, County and State governments need a major overhaul. This is a sad day for all of them and the citizens of this State.
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