Monday, June 29, 2009

Should We Be Getting Nervous About the Olympic Bid?

So if you read this blog, you know we're all for Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid. However, we're starting to become a little apprehensive about some of the things associated with the bid.

Coming out of the IOC meetings in Switzerland two weeks ago, there was a ton of backlash from the public and Aldermen about Mayor Daley's agreement to sign the IOC host city contract as is. This essentially makes Chicago (if it wins the right to host the games) liable for any cost overruns. However, this issue is becoming more confusing and frustrating as Daley is now denying he agreed to this. Needless to say, we're not sure what to make of this.

Adding to this, we read an article today on the Chicago Business website talking about 'the next Olympic land mine'. Which talks about some issues with the idea around the development of the Olympic Village:

With as many as 3,000 units, the proposed South Side housing complex is the single costliest item in the $4.8-billion Olympics budget. Chicago expects private developers to pick up the construction tab, betting that they'll profit by converting the buildings to apartments and condominiums afterward.

But if Chicago is chosen to host the games, the city will have no choice but to cover any construction costs the private sector won't. That's what happened in London and Vancouver, which are slated to host the next two Olympics and had to write big checks when private funding for athletes villages collapsed.

We still are hoping for the Olympics to come to Chicago for a variety of other reasons...but it's starting to sound a little riskier and scarier to us.


MAF said...

If the games are going to be spread out all over the midwest(I have heard as far as South Bend), then why is it only the City of Chicago that has to pick up any cost overruns?

Shouldn't every city that has some parts in the Games also be on the hook?

We should make those free loaders in Evanston kick in their fare share.

Sloopy said...

I'm all for making other cities chip in, but my guess is that will be tough. If the games are spread out throughout the Midwest the purpose would be to utilize the other cities facilities (so in South Bend maybe use ND's football stadium).

If the other Midwestern cities are creating new venues then that's a different story since cost overruns would potentially be an issue.