Chicago's 2016 bid
Chicago now has 2 ½ years to convince the rest of the world and more importantly the members of the International Olympic Committee
that it should be the city of choice. So what are the next steps?
Well Chicago, despite the furor that met the news of it's selection
as the USA's bid, is only considered an 'applicant city' and at certain points over the next 18 months the IOC will cut the number of applicants leaving a small number of 'candidate cities.' Cities have until mid-September to apply to host the 2016 Olympics. Probable cities are:
Rio de Janeiro
Then international applicants compete with each other for approximately 10 months putting together an overview of their project and responding to questionnaires from the IOC. Finalists are chosen and an evaluation committee will visit them, probably in the spring of 2009. Prior to this each finalist will submit to the IOC an exhaustive candidature file, with answers to questions of a myriad of areas related to staging the games. Writing this I'm wondering at what point did us English get excited about hosting the games before they became true finalists?
Then immediately before the October 2009 decisive vote in Copenhagen, each finalist makes a final presentation to the IOC membership.
Of course in the meantime there is an awful lot of sucking up and politico to go through.
Chicago's bid hinges on new facilities, mostly situated around the downtown lakefront
and nearby parks. The centrepiece would be an 80,000-seat, $366 million temporary Olympic stadium
that would be built in historic Washington Park. Chicago's plans also call for a $1.1 billion lakefront village that would be built near the McCormick Place convention centre just south of downtown. The lakefront plan repeatedly was mentioned as a key factor. "For the Olympic Games to be a success we have to recreate a certain magic, a certain celebration center,"
USOC international vice president Bob Ctvrtlik said, "and the waterfront location, right on the lake, we felt could do that."
Chicago's emphasis on the Paralympics was a large factor over Los Angeles' bid. USOC Chairman Peter Ueberroth said "Lots of times the Paralympics become a poor stepchild in the bid process. From the beginning, Chicago emphasized this was a joint effort to bring the Olympics and Paralympics."
The windy city is considered to have a good shot against its international competition, because, by 2016, 20 years would have passed since the last time the United States hosted the Summer Olympics, at Atlanta in 1996. Also, a US bid for 2016 could be helped by the idea of geographical rotation, because the IOC picked European cities for the Summer Olympics of 2004 (Athens) and of course London in 2012, and then an Asian city (Beijing) for 2008. However expect Rio de Janeiro to have a say in where the 5 rings ends up.
Chicago's 2016 bid committee this winter is now looking to bring big sporting events to the city. They are no strangers to hosting outdoor events, rarely a weekend goes by without something happening downtown. However apart from staging 4 games at the 1994 world cup, it has been almost 50 years since Chicago has been the sole venue for a large sporting occasion.
The trouble is that most International sports federations already have picked most of their sites for championships between now and the IOC vote for 2016, but Chicago will look to create or take on smaller invitational events over the next 18 months, even if they are money-losers and the World Amateur Boxing Championships could be the first.