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IOC Calls Chicago Bid To Host '16 Games Ambitious But Achievable
Published September 3, 2009
PUBLIC SUPPORT DOWN: In Chicago, Lighty & Bergen cite a poll as indicating that support in the city for the '16 Games "has dwindled, with residents now sharply divided over whether the city should host the Games." About 45% of respondents "opposed Mayor Richard Daley's Olympic plans," while 47% supported them. Chicago residents "increasingly and overwhelmingly oppose using tax dollars to cover any financial shortfalls for the Games," with 84% "disapproving of the use of public money." The new results "show slippage from the 2-to-1 support found" in a February poll, and experts said that the findings "could hurt Chicago's chances." The poll consisted of a telephone survey of 380 Chicago registered voters from August 27-31 (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/3). A CHICAGO TRIBUNE editorial states public support "may factor into the final decision" of the IOC in awarding the Games. Chicago "can reasonably protect its citizens, but fewer Chicago citizens are confident of that." There are "ways for Chicago 2016 to regain that confidence," and "transparency in the financial management of the Games is essential" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/3). A CHICAGO SUN-TIMES editorial stated Chicago 2016, "over time, has become more forthright with its finances, and now, with the host-city decision imminent, is the moment for the committee to take the final steps toward even greater transparency" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 9/2).
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NO REAL WINNER: The Chicago Tribune's Hersh said, "I would say that Madrid probably was a big loser today, or as big a loser as you can possibly have. It's not going to be a decisive factor in the votes. Rio probably gained. Chicago probably got slapped a little bit and Tokyo got slapped a little bit." But Hersh added, "I don't think this report is going to be the decisive factor in the vote on October 2nd" ("Chicago Tribune Live," CSN Chicago, 9/2). UNIVERSAL SPORTS' Alan Abrahamson wrote there are "no out-and-out losers in such reports because, as the IOC has emphasized time and again over the past year, all four finalists in the 2016 race are eminently capable of staging the Games." The report is "in a significant respect already too late," as the Evaluation Commission "made the rounds of the four cities in April and May." Since the report "deals entirely in shades of gray ... it does not yield rankings," and "does not even provide clearly articulated guidance and advice" (UNIVERSALSPORTS.com, 9/2).