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2016 Postmortem: Daley Says U.S. Should Give Up On Olympics

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Oct 25, 2009 5:45PM

It's been three weeks since the Big Letdown but Mayor Daley hasn't been quick to move on from the disappointment of finishing last of the Final Four in 2016 Olympic voting. Speaking last week to the editorial board at Crain's, Daley pointed out the disparity between government support for U.S. candidate cities and support other governments give their candidates.

"You don't want to be a poor loser, (but) what you have to do is evaluate whether the U.S. (cities) can bid against Japan and Spain and Russia," he said. "How do you bid against $150 million?" He was speaking of government money -- money that can be used to fly officials around the world, produce ads and otherwise promote an Olympics bid.

All of the money that Chicago 2016 spent on its bid - estimated to be around $70 million - was raised from private sources while the only federal support the city was promised pertained to transit improvements and security. Said MayDay, "You have to rethink whether the U.S. should ever bid." Sources speaking to Crain's Greg Hinz seemed split: one source agreed with Daley's assessment and suggested the U.S. should stick to bidding on Winter Olympics only while another source disagreed and implied that the problem could be solved with an overhaul of the USOC.