Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Leave it to the Chicago Reader

Surprise, Surprise, the Chicago Reader takes the negative, pessimistic angle about Chicago’s 2016 Olympic Bid. Generally speaking, I like the Chicago Reader and their independent voice, but sometimes they are so cynical, sarcastic and skeptical about things (especially local politics).

They do bring up points that need to be considered (ie the cities propensity to underestimate costs and its cronyism), but in typical fashion they avoid talking about the positive attributes the Olympics could bring to Chicago.

The Olympics are a global platform to show off our city. The Reader talks about tourists coming and leaving after the Olympics are over, but forget about how many people across the world will be watching our city serve as the backdrop for this prestigious international event. It’s like a two week global commercial for Chicago.

I’m confident that people across the world will see our beautiful skyline, parks and lakefront and be intrigued. They will hear stories about the restaurants, museums and culture and want to visit Chicago. I visited Barcelona and I attribute my desire partly due to what I saw, read and heard about their Olympics in 1992.

Besides boosting Chicago’s image, the city can fast track numerous infrastructure programs. As anyone living in Chicago knows, our public transportation system could use an upgrade. Yes, this might happen eventually (either through state or federal funding), but throw the Olympics into the mix and suddenly we have a deadline that our government needs to act against.

So yes, I concede that this will cost more then our government tells us, but please look at the benefits as well as the costs…

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