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The City's Final 2016 Bid: Surprise! It's Crazy Expensive

By Karl Klockars in News on Dec 15, 2008 8:25PM

2016logo121508.jpgSo, who still wants the Olympics here? Show of hands? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Even with these rose-colored glasses on, we see an Illinois that has maybe filtered out a little bit of the pay-to-play 'How You Doin'" governmental interference by 2016. So, in the event that the world decides we're still not completely [bleep]ed,* here's what Crain's Chicago is reporting will be the city's final bid, with the report due to the Olympic Committee in February. It goes before the City Council next week. Here are the numbers:

  • A $1 Billion guarantee from the city and state in funding ($500 Million from the city, the remaining half-billion from “an unspecified insurance policy”)
  • A $1.1 Billion Olympic Village on the old Michael Reese Hospital, built by a private developer and to be resold after the Games, with no named developers on board
  • Total construction costs at $945 million, including a $360 million temporary Olympic stadium (down from $386 million, with the removal of skyboxes)
  • A total budget of $4.7 billion for the Games, with…
  • A generation of $22.5 billion of “new economic activity,” from 2011 through 2021, paying off nearly $4 for every dollar invested in the Games.

Awesome! What could go wrong? Now, we ae at Chicagoist have always been evenly split when it comes to pro/con on the Olympic bid - but all these financial tidbits make it really, really hard to get excited about it, especially in light of the state's recent [bleep]ery.*

Now, would it be nice if they were high-balling it in order to play with our expectations? And then deliver an Olympics that came in under-budget with a huge surplus for the city? [Bleep] yeah. Is this at all likely? Do we give them that much credit for forethought and frugality? And do we think these numbers will be anywhere close what the reality is going to be? [Bleep] no.* Go Rio!

*From now on, anyone in the state using the f-word owes G-Rod and Patti a nickel. He's kinda cornered the market on it. At this rate, we might actually have the Olympics paid off by the next transcript release.