While Chicago reporters and pundits gleefully assume a President Obama increases the chances of the city winning the 2016 Olympics – as well as assuming that would be a good thing despite a mountain of evidence arguing otherwise – the frequently quoted outfit that calls itself “the original and most trusted formula for rating Olympic bids” just dropped Chicago from first to third in its rankings.
“Despite this week’s historic U.S. election victory by Barack Obama who has close ties to the city – Chicago’s bid fell to third behind Rio de Janeiro,” GamesBids states. “While President-elect Obama will certainly be a valuable asset to the Chicago bid team, it’s too early to determine whether his politics or involvement in the bid will have a significant impact on the final vote next October.”
With the mayor’s Olympic Village plans in limbo, we here at Division Street Labs have learned of alternate sites being considered by the Chicago 2016 committee.
* Welcome back, Cabrini-Green!
* That giant ferris wheel planned for Navy Pier fits at least two to a car.
* Sending the Sox on a long road trip while Olympians camp out at The Cell.
* O’Hare’s concourses are already equipped to house long-term visitors.
* The Brown Line is converted to sleeper cars.
* Local pols say Oxford, Wisconsin has acceptable facilities.
Posted in Expect Delays, Five Ring Circus, The Daley Show
Tagged Brown Line, Cabrini-Green, Michael Reese, Navy Pier, O'Hare, Olympics, Richard M. Daley, The Cell, The Oxford Pen
“Chicago Mayor Richard Daley took a subway ride in Beijing on Wednesday as part of his efforts to scope out ways his city might refine its bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics,” AP reports.
Daley was impressed, but said that “upgrading an aging public transportation system to be as nice as the one in Beijing isn’t cheap and finding the money to do it is difficult.
[UPDATE: The Trib has a photo of Daley on a train. A Division Street reader wonders if the mayor has ever been spotted on one of ours.]
[UPDATE 2: Here's an AP video report.]
“‘No one can spend this much money. I mean, no one can spend it. I don’t care. What country can spend this much money,’ he said.”
Um, apparently China can.
There’ll be plenty of coverage to chew on about Chicago advancing to the next round in its bid for the 2016 Olympics, but for now, let’s mourn the losers. I was really pulling for Doha, Qatar, to sneak in there.
The News From Doha: It’s the middle of the night in Doha, so I guess the Gulf Times – apparently Qatar’s top-selling English daily newspaper – can be forgiven for not having gotten the news yet.
“The excitement is palpable and the tension unbearable as Qatar awaits its tryst with Olympic history when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reveals its Candidate City shortlist for the 2016 Games in Athens today,” the paper still says at 12:22 p.m. CST.
“Qatar couldn’t have chosen a better slogan to drive its Olympic dreams and it would be nothing short of a ‘Greek tragedy’ if the Doha-2016 Bid fails to get past the first hurdle.”
The News From Prague: Apparently they don’t publish bad news in The Prague Post because the Olympics aren’t mentioned anywhere – at least on the home page. The Czech Hunter S. Thompson, though, is going on a hunger strike. That’s something.
The News From Baku: Apparently they don’t publish bad news at AzerNEWS Online because the Olympics aren’t mentioned anywhere – at least on the home page. Azerbaijani billionaire Vagit Alekperov plans to buy England’s Tottenham football club, though. That’s something.
No wonder Doha, Prague and Baku were eliminated; their local media simply isn’t cooperating. I wonder if they have children’s museums there.