Indy, state miss out on Olympic impact

October 2, 2009

Chicago’s first-round elimination this morning in the race to host the 2016 Olympics shocked onlookers in Indianapolis, which likely would have benefited by hosting exhibition games and training camps leading up to the international event.

Had Chicago won the Olympics, Indianapolis-based USA Track & Field Inc. was projecting $10 million in additional revenue from its sponsors leading up to 2016, spokeswoman Jill Geer said.

“All Olympic sports see a boon when they’re held in their home country, no doubt,” she said.

Chicago’s early defeat caught Greer off guard. She acknowledged that voting is notoriously unpredictable, particularly in the first round. Votes are submitted by secret ballot.

Bill Benner, director of communications at the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, said the city no doubt would have hosted visitors to the games.

“I think this being Chicago, and being so close, we would have seen a far greater benefit to Indiana, and especially the northern part of the state,” he said.

John Dedman at the Indiana Sports Corp. said his organization had “very, very preliminary” discussions on what the opportunities might have been, but nothing further.

Tokyo was knocked out in the second round of voting. Madrid was the final city to be eliminated before Rio de Janeiro was declared the winner.



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