Friday, September 22, 2006
Today the City of Chicago re-submitted their bid
to the US Olympic Committee for it's plans to
host the 2016 Olympics. That seems a long way
away, but it will be here before we know it.
A U.S. representative will be chosen by March 2007
and a final winning host city will be chosen in 2009.
Earlier, I said re-submitted because Chicago originally
had a plan of using two stadiums for the opening and
closing ceremonies (as well as track and field events)
instead of the usual one stadium. The U.S. Olympic
Committee nixed this idea and made them go back to the
drawing board. I think that the idea they came back with
is ideal for all reasons. The stadium will be for the
most part, temporary. The key 10,000 seats around the
field and track will be permanent and in a hollowed out
bowl. The other 80,000 seats will be temporary and
removed after the games. Also, even though Washington
Park is on the south side, 6 miles from the Loop, it
has ideal access from the Green line of the CTA and
the Metra rail as well as Lake Shore Drive and the Dan
Ryan expressways. Finally, it is near the University
of Chicago and their facilities.
Some people may wonder if Chicago is qualified as an
Olympic city. It actually was awarded the 1904 Olympics
until they were taken away and given to St. Louis of all
places. Los Angeles and San Francisco are also U.S.
candidates for 2016. However, LA has hosted twice already
and San Francisco's bid seems to be pretty spread out
geographically. Chicago's would be fairly compact and
centered on four main park areas in the city as well as
it's great rapid transit system. As for other cities
around the world, it breaks down to being North America's
turn to host the games. Beijing (Asia) is hosting in 2008,
and London (Europe) in 2012. Realistically, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil and Cape Town South Africa stand a better shot at 2020.
Plus the fact that in 2016 it will be twenty years since
the U.S. last hosted it (Atlanta 1996). Will Chicago get the
Olympics? We'll know more by March. Right now the chances
look pretty good, and that's not just my opinion.
Posted by Tom Hamann at 9:30 PM