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2016 Postmortem: The Final Finances

By Kevin Robinson in News on May 18, 2010 2:20PM

Stunned disbelief at being voted out

The final income tax returns on Chicago's failed Olympic bid are in, and what an expensive adventure it was! According to the Tribune, the effort raised $75.9 million while spending $59.4 million, leaving $16.5 million left over. This contradicts other media reports which claim the city spent either $70.6 million (Crain's) or $72.8 million (Sun-Times) on the bid with a leftover chunk of change around $6.8 million. But either way, that's a hefty chunk of cash. While the Chicago 2016 bid was financed exclusively though private contributions, that didn't prevent the gravy train from making a few stops in the Windy City on the way to Copenhagen. And while Aon founder Patrick Ryan was the unpaid chair of the city's bid, according to the Sun-Times, 13 executives were paid six figure salaries, including benefits for their service working on the bid (though none earned as much as USOC CEO Stephanie Streeter who earned just a smidge past $1 million). Some of those include:

  • Chief Operating Officer David Bolger led the list, paid $483,713 per year, including salary, a retention bonus and benefits and $7,871 in other compensation
  • Doug Arnot, senior vice-president of sport was paid $373,013 and $15,971 in benefits
  • Chief Bid Officer John Murray was paid $364,482 and $24,256 in benefits
  • Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Richard Ludwig was paid $342,158 and $24,256 in benefits
  • President Lori Healy was paid $231,682 and $9,038 in benefits

It wasn't just bid executives that took home the big bucks trying to sell Chicago to the international committee that determines which city will host the Olympics. Also according to the Sun-Times, five contractors led the list of businesses that made money on the city's bid, including:

  • Ogilvy & Mather, paid $1.2 million for website design and maintenance
  • Hill & Knowlton, paid $1.17 million for communications consulting
  • ProActive, A Freeman Company, paid $641,339 for event production
  • DeMarsh Construction, paid $452,129
  • RSA Films, Inc., paid $407,481 for film production

And while Chicago's Olympic dreams might have been crushed earlier this year, Patrick Ryan is keeping the dream alive, as chairman of World Sport Chicago. When Chicago 2016 closed its doors for good, the leftover money was donated to World Sport Chicago, who's mission is to "uphold and advance the Olympic ideals in every day life through active participation in Olympic and Paralympic sports" by bringing sports opportunities to Chicago youth.