Friday
Oct022009

Is It Too Soon To Think Chicago 2020? How About Tulsa? Boston? Minneapolis?

Time to recycle the logo for 2020?October 2, 2009: Now that Rio de Janeiro has been awarded the 2016 Summer Olympics by the International Olympic Committee, is it too soon to recycle all the Chicago 2016 merchandise and rebrand it Chicago 2020?

Most of the mechanisms and logistics that brought Chicago to the Final Four in the quest for the 2016 Games could remain in place. Based on the IOC timetable for future Olympics, the bidding process for 2020 would begin in 2011, with the winning city to be named in October 2013. Numerous cities both in the U.S. and internationally already have made early noises to start on the long and winding road from working to become a bid city to finally being named an Olympic site.

Among them:

• Cape Town, South Africa, which plans to use its experience in competing for and ultimately becoming one of the host cities for the 2010 FIFA World Cup to become a global sports mecca. Many new facilities were built for the World Cup and renovation is proceeding throughout the region.

• Durban, South Africa, another host city for the 2010 World Cup and also the site of the IOC's 2011 congressional meeting, where delegates will vote on the host city for the 2018 Winter Games. IOC personnel will get a first-hand look at venues and inner workings first-hand.

• Rome, Italy, where politicians have started a movement to bid for the 2020 Games to coincide with the city's 150th anniversary as the nation's capital. "A world-class event can be organized to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Rome as capital of Italy by hosting the 2020 Olympics in our city," Chamber of Commerce president Andrea Mondello said in a recent statement. "It is a proposal that I direct to the city with great humility, but at the same time with the confidence of someone that has spear headed the city's economic growth these past years."

• Delhi, India, which had sought to bid on the 2016 Summer Games but reworked its proposal for 2020 after the nation lost its bid to host the 2014 Asian Games (the largest sports event in Asia, overseen by the Olympic Council of Asia), which will be held in Incheon, South Korea. Delhi will be the site of the 2010 Commonwealth Games and India will co-host the 2011 Cricket World Cup (along with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka).
 
Chicago's failure to win the 2016 nod puts several cities in North America back in play. Among the cities that have either expressed a strong desire to consider bidding for 2020 or already have put together a 2020 Olympic Bid Committee are Monterrey, Mexico; Toronto, Canada; and, in the U.S., Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Birmingham (Ala.) and Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the Tulsa 2020 Olympics Committee over the summer presented a feasibility study on the project to the Tulsa City Council.

Respective representatives of Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo 2016 were not yet talking about regrouping for another run at the Olympics. The Chicago 2016 Web site posted this response after losing out on the Summer Games: "Thanks to all of the supporters of Chicago 2016 in the city and around the world. While we were not fortunate enough to be selected as Host City, Chicago has won in many other ways. The city and nation united behind our bid, raising Chicago's profile as a world-class cit and inspiring the world's youth through sports. Thanks also to the International Olympic Committee for giving us the opportunity to compete agains these world-class cities on the world stage. Congratulations to Rio de Janeiro, host of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games."

One city that was in a similar position is Prague, which lost its bid to host the 2016 Summer Games in 2008 when the IOC did not include the capital of the Czech Republic on the list of final four candidates. City officials then considered making a new bid for 2020. However, they cancelled those plans in June, citing the challenges of the economy. "It makes no sense to spend money any more [seeking to become an Olympic venue]," Prague deputy mayor Marketa Reedova said in a recent statement.

IOC President: 2016 Decision Too Close To Call

Chicago 2016 Faces One Month Countdown

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