No Games Chicago has sent the same team who went to Switzerland In June to meet with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Copenhagen to do it again. I was one of the delegates who went to Lausanne and I'm part of the team again.
Our purpose then and now is to take a simple message to the members of the IOC -- the people of Chicago do not want the 2016 Olympics. 84% don't want them, according to a recent poll conducted by the Chicago Tribune. 45% don't want the games under any circumstances and 84% don't want public funds used for the party. Since the city has already spent or committed over $240 million for the games (see our tally at the end of this piece), that threshold has already been crossed. Hence 84% of the people of Chicago oppose the bringing of the 2016 Olympics to Chicago, That's a big number, too big, we think, to be ignored.
We ddn't come on a chartered jet and we're not wearing clothes designed by the First Lady's dress maker. No TV crews saw us off and none will welcome us back. We did grassroots fund raising up the last moment to pay for the trip.
When we went to Switzerland in June we took 100 copies of our "Book of Evidence" (download your very own copy -- 12MB PDF file) that laid out our arguments as to why Chicago would not be an ideal host for the 2016 Olympics. Each of these arguments has been strengthened by developments since then. We're bringing updates to the "Book of Evidence."
Will the members of the IOC listen?
Will the arrival of President Obama blind them to the defects in Chicago's bid and the angry mood of the people who feel abandoned by their government?
Will the press continue to fawn over the bid team and repeat their spin as gospel?
Stand by for further details.
$243 million and counting ...
$86 million for purchase of Michael Reese Hospital site. Lori Healey, president of the Chicago 2016 committee, has said the purchase of the site has nothing to do with the bid, but at the 2016 community meeting at the Palmer House on August XX Pat Ryan was quizzed by a No Games member and he revealed that they approached the city when their plans for siting the athlete's village over rail tracks proved too expensive.
$11 million for demolition of the site.
$1 million for securing the site.
Unknown millions for cleaning up the site (medical waste)
$110 million for improving the site.
$35 million from the Chicago Park District for the construction of the velodrome and kayaking course.
But wait, there's more ...
$12 million in lost revenues from 1,600 boat slips taken off line for three seasons.
$1 billion (probably much more) for security.
Unknown cost for destroying acres of priceless park land and making them unavailable to Chicagoans for years.
And if there are significant shortfalls or cost overruns, $500 million from the city and $250 million from the state (plus another $250 million for downstate pork projects to mollify the non-Chicago legislators.
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