Why I Oppose Chicago 2016

But based on the existing evidence I think a little skepticism is warranted: if there are cost overruns, or if no developer steps forward with $1 billion to pour into a speculative housing deal in the middle of the greatest housing crash since the Great Depression, then guess what, Chicago? You’ll be covering the balance. Money that could go to schools, parks, police, and firefighters will be diverted to the Olympic effort—including the $10.5 million the bid says will spent coming up with a mascot. Plus, Daley is expecting residents to give up something at least as precious as public money: public space. Only he’s not being up front about it—he’s pretending that we don’t have to be inconvenienced at all.

-Ben Joravsky, The $10.5 Million Mascot, Chicago Reader

The arguments for stating the 2016 Olympics in Chicago are similar to when a big-league team begs for money for their new stadium. “Net gain!” they say. “It’ll create jobs. Bring in tourists.”

Well, profit doesn’t always materialize, even in good times, much less an economic meltdown. And Chicago hasn’t shown itself to be capable of managing costs or timelines for big projects.

The Olympics sound exciting, but I’d rather spend the money on our schools, streets, parks, public transit and other projects that will benefit residents more than Mayor Daley’s ego.