Friday, October 2, 2009

Dousing the Flame

As much as I love sports, I would actually prefer that Chicago NOT get the 2016 Olympics. The reason is simple: it will just be a huge waste of money.

There is no city more known for graft and corruption than Chicago--and the huge contracts that would be handed out for construction of Olympic venues are prime sources for every crony of Mayor Richard M. Daley to get his pocket lined. Make that pockets stuffed so full that many of them won't be able to walk. Whatever they estimate it will cost Chicago to host the Games, add 25-percent--then another ten percent for "unexpected overruns".

And the Olympics are not the "amazing sporting event" that people think it is. Tickets for the top events are reserved for International Olympic Committee members and their cronies--along with the corporate sponsors that have completely taken over the Games. The Olympics are an "amazing money-making event" for a select few. The actual focus on sports went out the window when Peter Ueberroth proved that you could make money by hosting in LA back in 1984. Unfortunately, the last few versions of the games haven't made money--and taxpayers in the hosts cities and countries have been left footing the bill. Cook County already has a 10.5 %sales tax--how high would it go if the Chicago Olympics lose a billion dollars or so?

Some think that Wisconsin will be getting plenty of benefit from the Games--namely people staying across the border and driving into the City for the events. But I have a sneaking suspicion that Governor Jim Doyle has somehow committed some of our tax dollars to help Illinois pay for this thing. Nobody gets anything for free anymore.

And think about all of the Olympic tie-in advertising. The "official refreshment beverage of the 2016 Chicago Games", "the official tire of the 2016 Chicago Games", "the official home building supplier of the 2016 Chicago Games". I'll have to make this the "Official Blogsite of the 2016 Chicago Games"

If the City of Chicago is going to spend all of the money necessary to build venues and an athlete's village--along with transit upgrades and all of the security necessary to prevent disaster--why not just spend the money anyway for the CTA and police--without having to put up with three weeks of hassle?

I would cast my vote for Rio, Brazil. South America has never hosted the Games--and it's their turn. Besides, except for baseball and hockey, sports is better on TV anyway.


  1. I agree 100%. I was born and raised in suburban Chicago and still go there frequently to visit my parents and an adult daughter. They need to address their many social ills......a lovely young man was beaten to death last week after getting caught in the midst of gang violence after school. In addition, the security at O'Hare and the entire city would have to be huge, as it increases a terrorism threat. Chicago, work on your schools, your roads, your public transportation. Promote your own tourism without the Olympic tag. Do your own city a huge favor and root for Rio.

  2. Official Blog? Yeah, Right! That's a little far fetched, Jonathan. Chicago should have the Olympics. I think it really would be an economic boon for the Windy city. Isn't it like that when say, the Governor comes to Oshkosh and he sees how crappy our roads are? He'll infuse cash to our city.

    Let's get it going. I say, bring the Olympics to the midwest. We need that. Chicago will improve, taxes will always go up, why not have a great excuse? Let's have new roads, better security, and address some issues.

    Let's put out the doormat for the globe and welcome them here. Maybe by then President Obama will be back in local politics and the windy city's crime rate will have taken a turn for the better.

    Always the antagonist, Jonathan.

  3. I would've liked to see Chicago get it, as we lived there 10 years before coming here, but it seems the IOC was on the same wavelength as Jonathan. Reputations CAN hurt you, and Chicago's reputation for official corruption and unofficial violence apparently doomed their attempt. Clean up that godawful mess and better luck next time!!