Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chicago 2016 Olympics group looking for federal cash: UPDATED

Until I read a story from Crain's Chicago Business just now, I was rooting for Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee meets in Copenhagen on Friday, the local television station are preempting regular programming to cover the IOC vote which will determine which city gets the games.

Chicago and Rio de Janiero are considered to be the favorites; Tokyo and Madrid also have presented bids.

The personal advantage of having the games in Chicago is tremendous. I live five miles outside of the city, so if the games are a financial bust, my wallet won't be picked. Yet many events will undoubtedly take place witing a few miles of my home, and if I care to spend a fortune and view an event at the Olympic stadium, that venue will be only 20 miles from Morton Grove.

But Crain's says my wallet might end up being lighter after all--because of Chicago style politics emanating from the White House.

Chicago and the Obama administration are exploring ways the federal government can bolster the city's bid for the 2016 Olympic Games with financial support for the $1-billion Olympic Village.

Crain's has learned that senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett and Lori Healey, president of the Chicago 2016 committee, met this month with top officials of the Department of Housing and Urban Development to discuss financing options for the village, the single biggest project — and question mark — in the city's bid.

The main hurdle facing Chicago is coming up with a long-range plan for an Olympic Village that is commercially viable while meeting objectives of existing HUD programs that could be tapped for funds, such as low-income housing tax credits and grants or loan guarantees for community development, affordable housing or housing for seniors.

"I think it's premature to talk about what the funding might be," says Ms. Jarrett, a former co-chair of Chicago 2016 and city planning commissioner who now heads White House efforts to help Chicago's bid. "A proposal has not been made to the federal government, but the administration is not closing the door" on anything, she adds. The administation "obviously (is) willing to meet and listen."

Hoo boy...this could get expensive.

UPDATE 10:35pm: Drudge is reporting that Chicago 2016 told Fox 32 Chicago not to run a mildly critical report because it "would harm Chicago's chances" of winning the games.

Very intersting.

The story was gleaned from the Chicagoans for Rio web site. There is speculation that the site is Brazil-based.

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2 comments:

Morton Grove Voice said...

Hey John... you'd stated "I live five miles outside of the city"

If Morton Grove was that close we'd all be jogging or biking in as well!

From the MG Library to Nacy Pier is over 15 miles!!!!!!!

The MGV

John Ruberry said...

Outside the city limits, Eric. Not everything will be at Washington Park...