IBJOpinion

Chicago Olympics? What a joke

October 10, 2009
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

I can appreciate, but heartily disagree, with the arguments [Bill Benner] advanced [in his Oct. 5 column] that Chicago getting the 2012 Olympics would have benefited Indianapolis.

However, you failed to notice the single biggest problem with a Chicago Olympics (or, quite possibly, anywhere in the United States save Los Angeles): the overwhelming construction that would have to occur between now and then.

The Illinois state and Chicago city “budgets” are nowhere in balance. Had both not received substantial money from the Obama stimulus (what a wild misnomer!) plan, they’d be drowning in red ink … which is what many have forecast next year, when, presumably, no more federal money (via China) will be forthcoming to states and municipalities in trouble.

The rumor is the International Olympic Committee is already using some of their TV money to bail out the upcoming Vancouver Olympics … I suspect one look at Chicago’s bank book and they concluded they’d have to be doing that again—and they took a pass.

And can you even dream of a major construction project in Chicago coming in on time and at budget? Well, like a Midwest Olympics, it would have been a first. 

__________

Dr. T.J. Story

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