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Monday, April 15

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C-Note / May 15, 2006 10:39 AM

Because if we can flush out the rest of the scumbags in local government, the Olympics would be a fantastic economic opportunity for the city. A successful bid would create jobs, boost tourism and substantially increase revenue, and help to revitalize parts of the area that have been neglected. If we can make sure the remnants of the Machine keep their greasy hands out of the pot, the 2016 Olympics could be a landmark event for Chicago.

spence / May 15, 2006 11:05 AM

Even though the actual corporate games tend to lose money for the host city, I think it could be beneficial because it is an excuse to build some major public works projects in the region without the bureaucracy. In that respect, I think the long-term benefits would out-weigh the short-term losses. Also, it'll put Chicago in the world's eye and bring us out of New York and LA's shadow for a little while.

However, Luis Gutierrez makes a valid point in that the same monies could be used for education among other things. I think that every city has this argument when deciding hosting any major event. The pro's and con's must be weighed.

I sound like a pandering politician.

hau / May 15, 2006 11:47 AM

did anyone hear the story on NPR this morning about old Beijing essentially being razed in its entirety to be replaced with shiny new high rises forBeijing's hosting of the 2008 summer Olympics? Sounds like all character and charm of the old city will be gone without a trace for the sake of corporate branding and appearances. Truly sad. I can't imagine that it wouldn't happen here as well.

Gilby / May 15, 2006 11:59 AM

Oh sure. Spend billions and heap more logistical headaches on the town over the next ten years for an event that will be endlessly combed over and fussed about by the rest of the world for about three weeks, then forgotten. Sounds like a plan. And Iím sure this will elevate poor lil Chicago to the dizzying heights enjoyed by mighty New York and Los Angeles, just as it did for Atlanta and Salt Lake City.

Do people honestly care about the Olympics?

Stephen / May 15, 2006 12:01 PM

Hau, I did hear that NPR story as well. My understanding, however, is that Beijing simply does (did) not have adequate housing / living spaces to host the Games. Preservation / alternative arguments aside, Beijing needed to promise to build this stuff in order to get the Games.

My feeling is that Chicago's priorities (with respect to promised changes to the City in order to prove its 'worthiness') will lie elsewhere - particularly with public transit and basic infrastructure. At least that is what I hope. So with that in mind I support the 2016 Olympics bid, but if we get it, I'll be planning a nice vacation to coincide with it!

bensch / May 15, 2006 12:14 PM

Yes. Some people do care about the Olympics. I count myself as part of that group. I enjoy watching the best athletes in the world compete in challenging events that have deeper roots than run-of-the-mill, American sports like baseball and basketball. (I find it much more exhilarating to see someone attempt to break a world's record than to watch Barry Bonds hit another homerun.) Does Chicago have to prove anything to NY and LA? No, it's already a great city, but hosting an event such as the Olympics says to everyone on the planet that Chicago would like to be a greater part of the world community. And, in this day and age, I feel that a gesture such as that is more important than ever. I think being an Olympic host is less about status and more about sharing and hospitality.

Ron / May 15, 2006 12:39 PM

I lived in Atlanta in 1996. I also worked for the Olympics in their Press Relations Department for the Games. I don't want to be a spoiler of people's high hopes, but the Olympics are a huge bunch of hype and it's hardly the party you see polished and edited on TV. In fact, The Games are pretty boring in real life and the money "infusion" promised to the city never really happens.

The Olympics somewhat helped the city of Atlanta, where the downtown needed some major investment and rebuilding, but I don't know what Chicago will get out of it except exhausting media coverage, mucho over-excitement, and a ton of additional corruption as under-the-table deals (which the Olympic Committee is widely known for) go bonkers when the Daly Machine gets some International connections.

I'll be taking a trip out-of-town for this one...

Emerson Dameron / May 15, 2006 12:39 PM

I like it. When our athletes get busted for 'roids, Daley can go on TV and cry.

Honestly, I don't know if this is a good idea. But if you need a case study to prove how little good the Olympics can do, have a look at downtown Atlanta.

FlowFeel / May 15, 2006 12:59 PM

Yes - Big frickin' party!

Jay / May 15, 2006 1:25 PM

No... Because if you're from Chicago, you KNOW that we have absolutely no chances of actually winning the bid. We should never bother trying to win the approval of anyone. We never win, except the '85 Bears, the Bull's victories in the 90's and most recently the Sox. But those are the exception. People from outside Chicago enjoy watching us lose. It's true.

Jill / May 15, 2006 1:26 PM

I'd be worried about fighting my way onto the train every day if the Olympics were here.

Over the weekend we caught a marathon of sorts on ESPN rerunning the 2005 World's Strongest Man competition from China, and I kept thinking that it would be awesome if Chicago would host that. I'd take a vacation and buy tickets every day for that event.

adam / May 15, 2006 1:59 PM

Don't bother. The Olympics are NOT the mass economic engine that people might think. Lots of investment, sure, but mostly for items that aren't so useful outside of an Olympics-type event.

In addition to the corruption already mentioned (which will happen), the people most in need of the investment (ie, the poor) won't see any of it. Emerson et al. is right: look at Atlanta.

Take the money that would be spent on an Olympic bid and use it for better purposes, like some of that scattered-site low-income housing that I've yet to see built in lieu of The Projects.

Thad / May 15, 2006 2:49 PM

Reading some of these comments reminds me how insecure some in Chicago are when it comes to our standing re: NYC and (gasp!) LA.

Second city (well, third city, really) mentality does still remain strong, doesn't it?

That said, if the Olympics come, I'm renting out my Uptown studio apt. to some Bulgarian weightlifting fans for $1,500 per week, free WGN included, though I will require them to provide their own towels and sheets.

Y A J / May 15, 2006 3:08 PM

Yeah, Chicago should BID for it. This summer's Gay Games will be a small scale practice run. I'm looking forward to helping out and continuing to avoid the tourist places most visitors will flock to after athletic events. The athletic sites are spread out, so I don't expect it to impact my daily commute too much.

I was a fan at the Atlanta Games I didn't think they were boring. Like Bensch, I prefer Olympic to commercial sports. I'd love to see an Olympic road race (bike) in the city. But I agree that even before the bombing there were a lot of vendors with millions of unsold t-shirts and blue, bloby mascot thingies.

Hey Ron, can you tell me, was the Atlanta L/subway built or expanded for the Olympics? Is it still there?

Rangla / May 15, 2006 5:25 PM

No. We don't need anymore people in this city that used to be a lot more liveable when we were actually losing population back in the 70s. We can have a big party without the excess tourists.

spook / May 15, 2006 5:27 PM

Hecky yes! Daley's pals deserve more cash than they got from Millennium Park contacts!
And frankly downtown/ the south loop needs more glitter and gold than lets say the south and westside of Chicago
My only question is where do I send a thank you card to Daley for creating even more service sector jobs so the majority can afford ONE ticket to the movie a month. Of course he could focus on making the schools better, but then we wouldn't have the cheap labor of the fat contracts from Cook County Jail
Wake up people Its just like Rome- bread and circuses!

Ron / May 15, 2006 5:39 PM

The MARTA train system of Atlanta was already in place prior to the Olympics by a good 25 years or more.

The only significant addition to the system was the extension of two train stops into the "white" suburban areas (Sandy Springs & North Point), which would have been built regardless of the Games.

The only true additions to the city that have lasted since the Olympics are Centennial Park (underwhelming), a better baseball park (but still in a crappy area of town), half the hood painted pastel colors (seriously, to hide the poor) and a smug Billy Payne (overwhelming).

Ron / May 15, 2006 5:45 PM

Also, don't think for a minute that the extreme security measures taken by the Games and US Goverment (quite necessary steps these days) will not impact your daily commutes for two weeks BEFORE and during the games.

They make one or two mile perimeters around all venues and cut them off regardless of normal traffic flows. It ain't fun...

matty / May 15, 2006 6:01 PM

Hmm. It depends. Some cities like Greece really cleaned themselves up for the event - that said it was one of the worst Olympics in my memory.

China promises to be excitiing because it is its chance to be on the world stage in a PR setting that isn
t Tienamen Square.

Chicago, on the other hand, probably doesn't need the games like other Cities do. Then again we did throw a mean World's Fair in 1893 - if we could match that then - well yeah why not?

hench / May 15, 2006 8:04 PM

no thanks. i'm just not a sports person... keep the music festivals and beer/bourbon events a flowing though!

Moon / May 15, 2006 8:57 PM

I think we should try for the Winter Olympics, too!!!

And the World Cup again!!!

Idea spook / May 16, 2006 10:32 AM

In Retrospect, yes, yes, yes Chicago should apply for Olympics because..... it aint noth'n but ah party up 'n here!
Further, I think we should include a few additional games to celebrate/ show case some of our own cultural past times in Chicago.
Such as a Big bad bag "O" heroin Survivors contest, where international junkies can sample Chicago's local product from various neighborhoods, starting in West Garfield Park, those that live will continue to the next neighborhood, Humbolt Park where I hear that bag called Jason is Killer!
We could also introduce the Birthday Celebration Russian Roulette Party where kids from various countries are dropped off at pre teen house birthday parties in Englewood . If bullets don't come crashing through the window, they move on to the next birthday party.....Party on!

The winners can then spend a harrowing year in Marshall High School on the Westside, were they will be the only kid with a computer to be used only to blog about their experience. Their parents mean while get to compete in the Nickel and Dimed/ Take Care of Your Family on One of the Numerous Service Jobs Created by the Olympic Games!

sarah / May 16, 2006 10:49 AM

Nope. The best thing about Chicago is that it's livable, in my opinion. We're not Salt Lake City, we don't need the hype or tourism. Also "PARTIES!" In Chicago tend to devolve into drunken riots led by suburban weekend warriors (remember when the Bulls won all of those championships, and a bunch of morons started turning cars over?). You know how Wrigleyville is a nightmarish frat party on Cubs home game days? I'd like *less* of that, thanks. Let's keep the suburbs in the suburbs.

bensch / May 16, 2006 12:08 PM

This thread officially sucks. Check your archives Gapers Team. The answers this time around aren't any better than they were last August. Maybe Chicago should host the Cynicism Olympics. Looks like we have some true contenders that reside right here.

donna / May 16, 2006 12:58 PM

What I want to know is this:
If we get the 2016 olympics, does that merit a 5th star on the Chicago flag?
Because a 5th star would be bitchin'.

Spook says Sara For Mayor / May 16, 2006 1:45 PM

yea, bensch

heaven forbid we put down the Red Eye or turn off the t.v and question or make fun (ala Anton Chekhov) of
the sheer stupidity) emanating from- what's suppose to be our - city hall at the working class and the poor tax payers expense. Guess we should just as the song goes "wipe off that full of dout look and put on a happy face"

Emerson Dameron / May 16, 2006 4:37 PM

Methinks cynicism is a reasonable response to the absolutely abysmal political corruption Chicagoans have learned to tolerate. If you can't vote them out, what are you supposed to do? And I think you'll find plenty of people in NY, LA and elsewhere who roll their eyes at the Olympics. It's a two-for-one. And it's not "whining" if it's funny.

Jonathan / May 16, 2006 8:16 PM

Only if they allow 16 inch softball into the games.

Brandy / May 16, 2006 8:17 PM

Along those lines, donna, I would *much* rather a World's Fair (and a 5th star). Now that's something. Not just a popularity contest for a heckuva lot of hassle and some sports.

Though I'd be interested in what kind of official hat Chicago would produce. I'd opt for a knitted hat with a bill, so beloved here. Or some sequined dollar store number.

Sspook calls for A Save the World Fair! / May 16, 2006 9:07 PM

What about Save The World Fair with political/cultural,ethnic, gender, community, etc, etc art (of every *&%$ kind!) from all over the world, I mean from paintings, to puppets, cartoon,
Sculpture, music, (only political) performance, spoken world, dance, found, recycled, children,environmental
etc, etc. Some thing designed to be bright colorful thoughtfull and provoking and bold. Featuring and official knitted hat with a bill with so beloved here with some sequined dollar store number. This enlightened, extravaganza would prevent the devolution into drunken riots led by those suburban weekend warriors/morons that turned over cars during the bulls championships. Of course turning over cars as a political statement would be allowed!

JasonB / May 17, 2006 4:37 PM

No. Chicago never wins anything. Don't waste the time and money. The "Second City" never finishes first. Especially on a global level.

SeanD / June 1, 2006 12:10 PM

Yes. Chicago should hold the 2016 olympics because it would take us out of the shadows of other citys but also bring in money from more tourism. Chicago could also host it because look at the White sox they won the world seares for the first time in around 60 years so if they can do something great then Chicago can host the olympics!

Jacob / June 2, 2006 12:24 PM

It is a given the USOC wants a city that can win and LA is that city sorry Chicago.

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