Even though the 2008 Olympics ended just about a year ago and London’s 2012 Olympics are still around three years away, the location of the 2016 summer games is making headlines.
On October 2, the International Olympic Committee will be announcing which city will get the privilege of hosting the 2016 games. The final four cities for consideration are Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago, with the latter city stirring up support from current and former residents of the state.
According to a source close to the Chicago Sun-Times, President Barack Obama, a former Illinois Senator, will make the trip to Copenhagen, Denmark along with the First Lady to make a final case for Chicago to host the event.
While it is a great thing that President Obama is willing to go to great international lengths to promote the United States, we are undecided if Chicago is ready to host the Olympics.
On one hand, it is exciting that a city that many of us call home is even being considered to host this prestigious event. The Olympics draws millions upon millions of visitors from across the world, bringing with them a revenue increase not just for the city, but also for the entire state.
However, some of us wonder if the city and state could support such a massive influx of visitors over a month’s span. With traffic and public transportation in Chicago being such a headache before and after a Cubs or Bears game, how would the city handle having so many well-attended events all across the city?
All of the benefits that would come with hosting the event, which includes the city being put in the international spotlight and an estimated $13.7 billion economic boom from 2011 to 2021, would come with an enormous price tag.
The organization in charge of putting together Chicago’s Olympic campaign says that it would cost around $4.8 billion for the city to host these events, with the cost being paid for both publicly and privately.
This is a huge price tag for a city and state with already serious budgetary issues. Add in the fact that the state is still known for all of its crime and corruption and the fact that the late night show hosts just stopped making jokes about Blagojevich makes some wonder if the state is ready for this enormous economic obligation.
Even though the benefits of hosting the Olympics are undeniable, we wonder if the city and state should first work on getting its affairs in order before taking on such a large project.
After all, if the state flops on this undertaking, it will be on the late night circuit on an international level, not just a national level.