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Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo and Rio Named Finalists for 2016 Summer Olympics

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Armchair_QB, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member


    By Philip Hersh | Tribune reporter
    12:16 PM CDT, June 4, 2008

    ATHENS - Chicago has advanced to the final phase of the contest to become host city of the 2016 Summer Olympics, although it has ground to make up on its three remaining rivals before the International Olympic Committee's 110 members choose the winner Oct. 2, 2009.

    The IOC executive committee decided Wednesday to eliminate three of the original seven bidders, Prague; Doha, Qatar; and Baku, Azerbaijan. That leaves Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo.

    Wednesday's decision was based on evaluations in a report made by an IOC working group. Chicago wound up tied for third with Doha in the rankings. Tokyo placed highest -- followed by Madrid -- with Rio in fifth. The IOC executive board used the rankings as guidance rather than ultimate selection criteria.

    "This is a key hurdle to have passed,'' said Bob Ctvrtlik, the U.S. Olympic Committee vice-president for international relations. "Now the bid committee and the city and the USOC and the nation have to unite behind Chicago.''

    From information provided by each city, the bids were ranked overall and in 11 areas on a 10-point maximum. Chicago ranked no higher than second in any of the 11 and fifth in three: government support, legal issues and public opinion; sports venues; and transport concept.

    To put that in perspective, 2012 Summer Games host London finished third overall behind Paris and Madrid in the rankings at the same stage of the process.''

    "We know where we are strong, and we know where we are weak,'' Ctvrtlik said. "We respect the analysis that has been done.''

    Both the USOC and Chicago 2016 officials expected the report to show concerns about transport, given the aged nature of the city's subway and bus systems, and finance, since the U.S. is the only country where the games cost is not completely guaranteed by government entities.

    Those concerns were well founded.

    The report was particularly hard on Chicago's transport. It cited inconsistencies in the amount the city planned to spend on road and transit projects and said the many sports venues along Lake Michigan are well connected to Lake Shore Drive but not close to rail lines and stations.

    "The working group had difficulty in identifying the location of transport projects and therefore assessing the coherence between transport projects and the Olympic Games concept,'' the report said.

    The low grade in sports venues came from the working group's worry that four major venues require private funding and "the construction budgets appear low.''

    The report also noted that the wording of Chicago's guarantee does not fully conform with the Olympic Charter, which demands the host city and Olympic organizing committee assume all financial responsibility for putting on the Games.

    Chicago has come up with a $1.15 billion guarantee against operations, including $500 million from the city, $500 million in projected operating surplus and a $150 million pledge from the state, which has not been approved yet.

    The finalists immediately can begin international promotion of their bids, through advertising, interaction with global media and lobbying of IOC members.

    The next formal event in the bid campaign takes place at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where each finalist will send observer teams to learn first-hand how a Summer Games runs, to assess how they can use the pluses and minuses of China's organization to improve their own candidature -- and to chat up IOC members.

    "We will take full advantage of the opportunity to spend the full time in Beijing for the Olympics and Paralympics,'' said Patrick Ryan, chairman of the Chicago 2016 bid committee.

    "Every candidate city will be there and wanting to communicate as much as they can about their city and their bid -- as much as IOC members are willing to take the time to listen to.''

    Since the goal is to convince a majority of IOC members rather than the global public that Chicago's bid is the best, the impact of advertising is diminished.

    "We would also like to convince other people of sport who have influence with IOC members,'' Ryan said. "People in (international sports) federations. People in national Olympic committees.''

    After Beijing, the cities begin working in earnest on the "bid book'' -- a highly detailed candidature file that generally runs to 400 pages. That file must be submitted to the IOC by Feb. 12, 2009.

    The IOC will then send an evaluation commission for three-day visits to each city, likely next April and May. That commission prepares a report released a month before the final vote. It does not contain an official ranking of the candidates.

    Since the IOC banned members from making inspection visits to candidate cities -- except for business or personal matters -- in the wake of the bid city vote-buying scandal that erupted in 1998, many cities have been frustrated in trying to overcome their unfamiliarity to many IOC members.

    That is an issue for Chicago. Ryan said fewer than 25 percent of the members have visited Chicago, and Mayor Richard M. Daley told the Tribune Monday the city's "profile was very important.''

    In April, IOC president Jacques Rogge said that to alleviate the familiarity issue, all candidate cities and IOC members would be invited to a meeting at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland some time next year, probably late spring.
  2. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    They already eliminated Doha and Baku?


    Hard to believe.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Anywhere but Chicago. Anywhere but Chicago. Anywhere but Chicago. Anywhere but Chicago...
  4. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

  5. Gutter

    Gutter Well-Known Member

    Having been to Rio for last year's Pan American Games, no f-ing way should they get the 2016 games. Just a complete clusterf**k ...
  6. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Won't be Tokyo. That'd be three of five Games in Asian time zones, pissing off US and European TV. Won't be Madrid. Not right after London.
    Rio, assuming its bid is together, would be the favorite. There has never been a Games in South America, and the IOC would adore having a first.
    Chicago would be a fine place for an Olympics, except it's not too exotic for us Americans.
  7. Rio will have just played host to the World Cup (2014). Not sure if Brazil would rate two worldwide events like that in a two-year span.

    I think Chicago would be an excellent host for the games.
  8. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    Considering how gridlocked Chicago traffic is now, I would hate to see what it will be like for the Olympics.

    Still, to have the Olympics four hours away from here would be nice.
  9. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    Because at 6 a.m. or midnight, there's a 10-mile traffic backup somewhere, and the roads that are under construction now will STILL be under construction in 2016.
  10. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    LB: Good catch. I had forgotten about the World Cup. Chicago, to my mind, has always been the U.S. city best suited for the Olympics.
  11. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    The problem with Rio having just hosted the World Cup would be the games in the Southern Hemisphere. While the time zone would help for U.S. and European markets, when do you have them? Sydney was in October, not the best time of year in the U.S. July or August, when it's winter in Rio?
  12. The IOC people might not follow that logic, but coupled with Brazil hosting the PanAm Games, it might be enough to tip the scales toward Chicago.

    Put it this way: If Atlanta could host the games, Chicago will have no problem.

    Someday, South America will play host to a games. Although it might be Buenos Aires, not Rio.
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