Chicago 2016 Olympics bid update


Chicago Olympics 2016 Applicant City logo

We attended a preview last week of the Chicago 2016 Olympics Bid Committee presentation for the Olympics selection committee.

The venue for sailing was identified vaguely as offshore the Burnham Harbor entrance and McCormick Place. The venue for rowing was located at Monroe Harbor between the Shedd Aquarium and Navy Pier. Details were sparse and these locations may be subject to change.

Dislocation of boats from the harbors during Olympics and construction was not mentioned. There are many other aspects of the Olympics bid that have greater priority in the bid presentation, let alone if Chicago is chosen as host city.

The Chicago bid is a responsible effort to address the concerns and requirements brought on by hosting the Olympics, local politics and financial controversies notwithstanding. The bid focuses on solving the many logistical and pragmatic concerns that are involved in the overall project, including attention to winding down after the Olympics. In this regard, the Chicago bid is considered very strong among the other possible host cities, due to its solution-oriented approach and the local geography, Olympic village and infrastructure providing a good host location.

However, it was noted that unforeseeable and unknown factors impact the host city decision. For example, one country recently sent a delegation of schoolchildren to vote whimsically for their city of choice.

The planned new 31st Street harbor is included as a component of the Olympics bid.

The upcoming timeline of the selection process includes Olympics selection committee visit to Chicago in April, and ultimately the final decision made on October 2, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The decision will be made by a series of votes in a process of elimination, removing one city each round until the winning host city is chosen.

Regardless of the outcome of the Olympics bid, the city of Chicago will purchase the approximately 37-acre Michael Reese Hospital property before the end of June 2009. The Michael Reese property will have a TIF tax benefit for its developers.

Current Illinois governor Pat Quinn has pledged to increase the state’s Olympic guarantee to $250 million, adding to the city’s previously-announced guarantees. The Illinois budget is long overdue and still undecided, having been delayed by Blagojevich and the fiasco surrounding his arrest and the Burris senatorial appointment. Currently, the Illinois budget has a deficit more than $11.5 billion, according to Quinn.

Today on WLS 890 AM radio, Quinn described the state’s Olympic guarantee as third in line after Chicago’s $500 million guarantee and the bid committee’s $500 million guarantee funded by “private insurance”. Interestingly enough, the recent controversies in the news involve similar transactions, as AIG is a major insurer of government, and the city has been plagued with scandal involving city ties to insurance agency schemes locally.

Pat Quinn also highlighted the problem of road potholes throughout the state, and stated his goal to fix the roads, even aspiring to be the “pothole governor” if that were to be his legacy.

Potholes were in the news earlier this week, as the city generated more controversy by rebuilding roads in the vicinity of the Olympics site, while ignoring necessary road repairs throughout the city, particularly in nearby neighborhoods that have been neglected for years.

If you are interested in supporting the Chicago 2016 Olympics bid, the bid committee is seeking financial support and commitments by institutions or investors to demonstrate to the Olympic selection committee that there is sufficient financial backing to meet the guarantee requirements and establish the feasible likelihood that the overall project and infrastructure can be developed and completed successfully to host the Olympics.

In particular, if you represent a banking institution, investment company or other organization that can provide written documentation of your level of commitment to investment, underwriting or lending on behalf of the project, please contact the bid committee, or contact us for specific contact information.

22 March 2009 | Chicago, Law, Politics and Government, Olympics | Comments

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