Wednesday
Sep092009

Chicago 2016 Bid Gets Strategic Financial Support

September 9, 2009: Chicago 2016, the group driving the city's efforts to host the Summer Olympics in seven years, said it cleared a major hurdle when the Chicago City Council voted unanimously in favor of a full governmental financial guarantee for the city’s bid to host the Games. The ordinance, approved Sept. 9, authorizes Mayor Richard M. Daley to sign the standard International Olympic Committee "Host City Contract" with the full backing of Chicago’s city government.

In an evaluation released last week, the IOC praised Chicago in many areas but red-flagged finances. The IOC will name the host city for 2016 at a meeting on Oct. 2. The other bid cities are Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro. The host city contract is necessary for bid approval, and the other cities already have signed their respective agreements.

“This is a huge day for our bid,” Patrick Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016, said in a statement. “Today’s successful outcome is the result of an incredibly collaborative effort by the Mayor, the City Council and our bid, and it epitomizes everything the world has come to expect from Chicago—transparency, competence and an ability to deliver. I’m thankful to the aldermen for their support and excited about the momentum the vote gives our team heading into the final weeks of this campaign.”

In its evaluation, which will be used as a guide for the 100-plus IOC members who will participate in the voting, the IOC stated, "Chicago 2016 has not provided a full guarantee covering a potential economic shortfall of the OCOG, as requested by the IOC. Instead, it proposes a capped guarantee of $750 million (U.S.), presenting a risk for the IOC should the short-fall exceed this amount." (Full report here.)

"[We have] been ever-mindful of our responsibility to develop a plan that was financially responsible and will leave a sustainable urban, sport, social and environmental legacy for the community," said Ryan. "The Chicago City Council has agreed our plans do just that. ”

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