Report:
Chicago says 2016 Olympics Could Be Profitable…
Despite Price Tag

 

Chicago Olympics 2016 Applicant City logo

Venue costs to host the 2016 Olympics in Chicago are estimated at $900 million, plus an “Athlete’s Village” costing another $1 billion.

It is believed most host cities report net losses due to hosting the Olympics- does anyone believe Chicago will prove to be an exception?

 


 

Chicago says Olympic venues would cost estimated $900 million
By Deanna Bellandi, Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO — Athletes and spectators won’t have to go far to enjoy the Summer Games and experience life in America’s third-largest city if the 2016 Olympics come to Chicago.

Athletes will row, cycle and play volleyball at downtown venues within walking distance of some of the city’s best museums. In as quick as a six-minute drive, athletes can get from their village to the Olympic stadium in a South Side park. And office workers and high-rise dwellers will likely catch free glimpses of some of the competition from their perches high above the lakefront.

It’s all part of a tightly centered games clustered around downtown that Chicago organizers are trying to sell to the International Olympic Committee as the ultimate in urban, pedestrian-friendly Olympics.

“It’s one thing to be compact, but it’s another thing to be walking distance,” Olympic gold medalist Mike Conley said Tuesday as Chicago 2016 organizers unveiled the plan they submitted to the International Olympic Committee.

Organizers of past Olympics have tried to group the majority of venues together. The Olympic Park in Homebush Bay was the centerpiece of the Sydney Games, for example, while most of the activity in Athens was at OAKA.

But those areas were outside of the city center. Homebush Bay was more than 10 miles west of downtown Sydney, while the Parthenon was a good bus ride from OAKA.

Chicago’s plan clusters the majority of venues in four sites near downtown and along the shores of Lake Michigan, the world’s fifth-largest lake.

Ninety-one percent of athletes would be within 15 minutes of their venues. The trip from the athletes’ village to the stadium – that Ryan says during the games would be a six-minute drive because of dedicated Olympic lanes – is at most 14 minutes in normal traffic, according to the bid document.

“The plan envisions the games woven into the landscape of Chicago’s century-old lakefront and in walking distance” of many cultural and entertainment attractions and sports facilities, said Patrick Ryan, chief organizer of Chicago 2016.

“We believe Chicago promises a spectacular Olympic experience in the center of our city, in the heartland of this great country,” Ryan said.

Details of the plan – which includes 16 new permanent and temporary venues and money to make existing venues Olympic caliber at an estimated cost of $900 million – were included in a questionnaire submitted to the IOC and released by Chicago bid organizers.

It does not include a $1 billion athlete’s village, a public-private venture officials said will be built regardless of whether Chicago gets the games.

Chicago would hold the games July 22-Aug. 7, 2016. The paralympics would follow Aug. 18-28.

Chicago 2016 organizers estimated the games would generate $2.5 billion in revenue just from domestic marketing, including sponsorships, licensed merchandise and ticket sales. Organizers would give 500,000 free tickets to Chicago schoolchildren.

“The people of Chicago will experience these games like no people of any Olympic city before them,” said Doug Arnot, operations chief for Chicago 2016.

As Chicago released its bid documents, details also emerged Tuesday about the other six bid cities’ plans.

Tokyo said 95 percent of its competition venues would be within five miles of downtown. Organizers in Madrid, Spain, said the eastern edge of its city would be the focus for the Olympics. There would be 15 competition venues there, and all but five of the 30 venues would be about seven miles from the city center.

Chicago organizers said their plan for clustering the Games downtown and near Lake Michigan is unique.

“Compact is one thing, it’s where it’s compact,” Arnot said. “We’ve taken the very heart of the city and put so much of the games right there. That is unparalleled in any games.”

Besides Chicago, Tokyo, and Madrid, the other bid cities are Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Baku, Azerbaijan; Doha, Qatar; and Prague, Czech Republic.

The IOC will whittle the seven applicant cities to an unspecified number of candidate cities in June. The IOC will select the host city in October 2009.

Chicago’s price tag is likely to grow if history is any guide. Costs for the 2012 London Olympics are now more than more triple original estimates, topping $19 billion.

The Chicago bid documents don’t give a total price tag for the games, but Ryan said comparisons to London’s ballooning costs aren’t fair. London is undertaking a major urban redevelopment as part of its games, including decontaminating land from years of industrial use. Chicago is not.

“Have you been to the East End of London recently? That’s been a desolate area for centuries. This is a rebuilding of something that is critical to London,” Ryan said.

Of Chicago’s 27 venues, 22 already are built or would be temporary structures. The Olympic stadium will carry the biggest price tag, costing nearly $386 million in 2007 dollars. But an unidentified developer was part of the design process, and already has committed to building it for that amount.

The questionnaire submitted to the IOC by Chicago and other bid cities covers everything from competition venues and financing to security and transportation. It’s part of the process for the IOC to pick a host city next year.

Chicago 2016 estimates it will spend $49.3 million in its bid process, and that assumes it will be one of the finalists chosen in June. Ryan pledged all of that money will come from private sources. More than $32 million already has been raised.

Chicago, Madrid and Rio are considered the early favorites, and Madrid organizers wasted no time in pointing out flaws in Chicago’s bid. Mercedes Coghen, Madrid’s leader, called Chicago’s bid “a little general.”

“I think it’s the little things that (the IOC) really wants spelled out,” she said.

While Ryan declined comment on other bid cities, he said he didn’t understand where Coghen’s criticism was coming from.

“I don’t really know what she would mean by that,” Ryan said. “She hadn’t seen our document yet.”

AP National Writer Nancy Armour contributed to this report.

On the Net:

Chicago’s bid file can by found on the Chicago 2016 Web site: http://www.chicago2016.org

The Associated Press

Source: Associated Press / USA Today

 



 

Chicago tries to change city’s perception for 2016 Olympic bid

By Don Babwin, Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO — They came from the Netherlands and Mexico, from Scotland and Italy. On a cold January day, tourists descended on Chicago’s Millennium Park just as they do when it’s warm and the crowded ice skating rink turns into a crowded restaurant.
As the city prepares to make public a detailed explanation of its bid for the 2016 Olympic Games on Tuesday, organizers say such scenes help illustrate that Chicago is a global city with the cachet to host the most global sporting event of all.

But those same tourists reveal something else: the stubborn perception that, long since the stockyards, steel mills and gangsters like Al Capone disappeared, Chicago remains a gritty city of belching smokestacks and dangerous streets.

“I thought it would be more industrial than it is,” said Carol Morrison, of Edinburgh, Scotland.

“They think it’s a very criminal city,” Teresa Speller, said of her countrymen in the Netherlands.

Those supporting Chicago’s Olympic bid know that changing the city’s image among outsiders – particularly among foreigners – is crucial if they are to convince the International Olympic Committee to pick Chicago.

“The great assets of Chicago have to be made known to the world,” said Patrick Ryan, leader of the city’s 2016 organizing committee.

He said most international travelers do not venture past the east or west coasts, so they’re far more familiar with cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Foreign visitors to Chicago say their friends back home simply don’t think of the Lake Michigan city as a vacation destination.

What they know about Chicago often comes from movies and television shows. Some, like “The Untouchables,” are outdated and others, like “The Fugitive” and “ER,” often paint the city as a somewhat ominous if not downright violent place.

And more recent events that made international headlines – including the trial of aging mobsters and the videotaped beating of a bartender by an off-duty police officer – have only fueled the stereotypical image of Chicago.

“Al Capone, crime, grit,” Nancy Caldwell, a teacher in Great Britain, said on a visit to Millennium Park this month. “Generally most Brits see it like that.”

Lost in all this, say Ryan and others, is the natural beauty of a city on the shores of one of the nation’s largest lakes, the gleaming skyscrapers, beautiful parks, museums and other cultural attractions.

“The gap between the reputation and the reality of Chicago today is the greatest for any major city in the world,” said Marshall Bouton, president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Ryan said the challenge facing Olympic bid committee is to make Chicago a lot more familiar to those in far-off countries – especially members of the IOC.

The IOC will select a host city in October 2009. Besides Chicago, Madrid, Spain; Tokyo; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Prague, Czech Republic; Doha, Qatar, and Baku are bidding to host the 2016 Summer Games.

“We have a significant number of global companies,” Ryan said. “These are people who travel the world and they’re going to be speaking out on behalf of Chicago.”

The city already had begun marketing itself internationally. In recent years, for example, the Illinois Bureau of Tourism brought in food writers from overseas in an effort to promote the city’s top restaurants. And chefs such as Charlie Trotter and Rick Bayless have been profiled in publications around the world.

“Three, four years ago it was all Chicago deep dish pizza,” said Jan Kostner, the bureau’s deputy director. “But fine dining has really caught on and today there is a huge awareness of that.”

In 2005, Time magazine named Mayor Richard Daley one of the nation’s top five big-city mayors. That year, a Boston Globe correspondent called Millennium Park “the best urban public park I’ve ever seen, anywhere, and that includes some famed ones in places like Rotterdam and Paris.”

The next year, The Economist published a flattering story about Chicago’s “revival.” After years of industrial decline, fleeing companies and racial tensions, Chicago was, the magazine wrote “a city buzzing with life, humming with prosperity, sparking with new buildings, new sculptures, new parks and generally exuding vitality.”

Still, there is concern that it’s not enough, that the city should be doing much more – and spending a lot more.

Together, the budgets of the city’s convention bureau and the city’s tourism office are less than $19 million, with another $1 million spent by the Illinois Bureau of Tourism to market the city and state overseas.

By comparison, the budget for New York’s marketing and tourism organization, NYC & Company, is $40 million. The budget for the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. in Florida is $64 million and the budget for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is a whopping $211 million.

A study organized by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs released in October said Chicago is being dramatically outspent overseas by other cities, including New York, which spends $15 million “on international tourism promotion alone.”

NYC & Company wouldn’t comment on how much it spends overseas, but said it opened nine new offices around the world last year, bringing the total to 16 – or 13 more than Illinois.

Even so, Kostner said the number of international visitors to Illinois climbed more than 8 percent last year.

And when they come?

“It is much more visually stunning than I was expecting,” Morrison said. “I wasn’t really prepared for the reality.”

The Associated Press

Source: Associated Press / USA Today

 



 

Olympics 2016
Jan 15, 2008 10:12 pm

Chicago 2016 Could Be Profitable Despite Price Tag

Madrid may be European favorite, but its venues are away from the center of the Spanish capital, unlike Chicago’s plan

Reporting: Jay Levine

CHICAGO (CBS) ? The Olympic-sized price tag to host the 2016 Summer Games is estimated to cost $900 million, according to organizers – and that’s just for the venues. As CBS 2’s chief correspondent reports, the city should still make a profit, and that may give us a leg up on the other bidding cities.

In addition to that, Chicago Olympic organizers estimate the Athlete’s Village will cost another $1 billion. CBS 2’s chief correspondent Jay Levine reports on why they’re predicting the games will still be in the black and how Chicago’s vision for the 2016 games compares to the ideas of the other bidding cities.

Grant Park would be in the middle of what Chicago Olympic officials call the Central Cluster, for 19 Olympic sports, the international press center and the Athlete’s village.

Most of the venues already exist and the village will be built with private money, and as a result, Chicago believes those construction costs of $900 million will be more than offset by more than $3 billion in revenue in from sponsorships, broadcast rights fees and ticket sales.

“Chicago 2016 is without question, the most thoroughly prepared bid the USOC has ever taken forward,” said Darryl Seibel of the United States Olympic Committee.

A new Olympic stadium in Washington Park, accounts for the lion’s share of construction costs–$385 million. It’s one of only five of 27 sports venues which need to be built.

“We will build permanent structures only when there’s a viable legacy of after use for the venue — no white elephants,” said Chicago 2016 CEO Pat Ryan.

Chicago’s compact Olympic plan with four clusters of sports venues, less than 15 minutes from the Olympic village, is similar to other applicant cities – but as Mike Conley Sr. of World Sport Chicago said, “there’s one thing to be compact and another thing to be walking distance.”

“It is in fact, you can walk from venue to venue. It is in fact, you can walk from your hotel to the venue, and it is in fact, that you can enjoy the vibrant city of Chicago while you’re enjoying the games,” Chicago 2016 vice president Doug Arnot said. “It’s the fact that we’ve taken the very heart of the city and put so much of the games right there — that is unparalleled in any games.”

Chicago’s $3 billion+ revenue projection is far more than any of the other applicants. It includes $1.28 billion from sponsorships, $705 million from ticket sales, $170 million from merchandise. The rest will come from the IOC, the Paralympic Games and other revenue sources.

Chicago’s price tag is likely to grow if history is any guide. Costs for the 2012 London Olympics are now more than more triple original estimates, topping $19 billion.

Chicago 2016 estimates it will spend $49.3 million in its bid process, and that assumes it will be one of the finalists chosen in June. Ryan pledged all of that money will come from private sources. More than $32 million already has been raised.

But it’ll take more than optimistic financial projections to convince the IOC that Chicago’s the best choice. Ryan says the spirit of Chicago has already had an impact as evidenced by Chicago’s reaction to winning the U.S. bid last April, and its enthusiasm for international boxers last fall weren’t lost on IOC officials.

“They saw the spirit of the people of Chicago,” Ryan said. “They’re talking about that, that buzz is out there in the IOC world.”

That’s Chicago’s hope anyway.

The IOC will narrow the current list of seven applicant cities to four or five approved candidates this June. The IOC will select the host city in October 2009.

Chicago would hold the games July 22-Aug. 7, 2016. The paralympics would follow Aug. 18-28. Organizers would give 500,000 free tickets to Chicago schoolchildren.

As Chicago released its bid documents, details also emerged Tuesday about the other six bid cities’ plans.

Tokyo said 95 percent of its competition venues would be within five miles of downtown. Organizers in Madrid, Spain, said the eastern edge of its city would be the focus for the Olympics. There would be 15 competition venues there, and all but five of the 30 venues would be about seven miles from the city center.

Rio de Janiero, thought to be Chicago’s toughest challenger seems to have benefited from hosting last year’s Pan Am games, refining its plan for 2016. But while Chicago projects revenues of $2.5 billion dollars plus money from the IOC, Rio says it’ll take in just $700 million.

“Very weak it seems for a country that will be having the Olympics for the first time,” said Olympic expert Ed Hula of aroundtherings.com. “The most populous country in South America, a continent with 400 million people, you’d think they could do better than that.”

Hula helped CBS 2 analyze the applications from Rio and the others — including Tokyo, which proposes an ambitious ocean-front site on reclaimed land.

“The price tag for this is very expensive and you have some venues, for example the rowing venue, they want to locate out there — the price tag is $300 million,” Hula said.

Madrid may be the European favorite. But its application appears much less polished and its venues away from the center of the vibrant Spanish capital.

“Seems a bit scattered, seems a bit spread out from what Chicago’s offering,” Hula said.

And then there’s Doha, the first Arab nation to bid for the games. Its oil-rich leaders are offering over $10 billion to build venues and improve infrastructure.

“How can you ask a country to host the Olympic Games when it can’t field a competitive team in many of the sports that are on the Olympic program?” Hula said.

We don’t know much about Prague because it’s not making its application public reportedly due to political problems with the bid in the Czech Republic. That’s not a good sign. And there’s no word from Baku in Azerbaijian, either.

On paper, Chicago seems to have the right stuff. And if the revenue numbers are correct, there’s no need to worry about taxpayers having to foot any bills. Just like the last three Olympics held in the U.S, Chicago is likely to make a big profit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Source: CBS 2 Chicago

16 January 2008 | Law, Politics and Government, Olympics | Comments

Leave a Reply

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  



Leukemia Cup Regatta - www.leukemiacup.org


 
 

Navigation

Pages

Categories

Archives

Meta



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
www.sailfastchicago.com ...a cool website for everyone who wants to sail fast...

Google