SBD/Issue 238/Olympics

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  • Report Reveals Previously Undisclosed Details Of Chicago 2016 Bid

    Chicago-based watchdog The Civic Federation's report on the city's bid for the '16 Olympics "shines the spotlight on some previously undisclosed or little-publicized aspects" of the bid, such the Games potentially being led by a team of execs with "annual salaries as high" as $550,000, according to Spielman & Donovan of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. A Chicago Olympic organizing committee "would directly employ 4,964 people, with salaries ranging from $25,000 for venue workers to $550,000 for top executives," and the "seven-year hiring plan calls for permanent staff to steadily rise from 43 in 2010 to 1,105 in 2015 and 1,388 in 2016." Meanwhile, the report indicated the opening ceremony for the Chicago Games would cost $64M to produce and $1,645 per ticket, or $1,793 per person with the city's 9% amusement tax. Tickets to the men's soccer finals would cost $486. Spielman & Donovan note Chicago 2016 is "counting on raising" $19M by selling naming rights to the shooting and rowing venues (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 8/28). The Civic Federation President Laurence Msall Wednesday at City Hall said the Chicago 2016 projection of a $451M financial surplus is "fair and reasonable." But in Chicago, David Greising notes a "close read of the Civic Federation report reinforces ... skepticism of all this Olympics hoopla." Greising writes, "Take a careful look at Msall's report, and one can only wonder: Did he read the darn thing?" The report has a "problematic graph that shows a variety of potential shortfalls that add up to $864[M] in red ink," which is "enough to wipe out the Olympic committee's projected budget surplus and then some" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/28).

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