Mayor Daley does the Olympic funding flip-flop

I’m back from Chicago, where I was met at the airport by the disembodied voices of minor Olympians (I think we got a synchronized swimmer) welcoming us to one of the contenders for the 2016 Summer Games.

I was also met by this article in the Chicago Reader, detailing how Mayor Richard Daley first promised that despite the International Olympic Committee’s requirement that host cities guarantee to pay for any cost overruns, Chicago wouldn’t be on the hook for extra cash; then caved and admitted he’d have to sign the IOC contract “as it is”; then insisted that even though he’d promised to pay any cost overruns, the city wouldn’t have to pay any cost overruns. It was nice of them to make me feel like I was back at home.

For more on Chicago’s Olympic bid mess, it’s worth checking out the Reader’s archives, which include a story about how the city is about to tear down a swimming pool it just built in order to build a velodrome that will have a new swimming pool trucked in from across town after the Olympics are over.


11 comments on “Mayor Daley does the Olympic funding flip-flop

  1. Mayor Daley is obsessed with the Olympics. He wants more than anything to be his legacy. Tho his true legacy will be a corrupt administration, one of the highest sales & property taxes in the country, big budget deficits, raising taxes on everything, terrible mail service, plowing a Friday night snowstorm on Monday, insider politics, bum parking meters, potholes big enough to bury your mother in and a public park that opened late and vastly over-budget, and has some sort of giant shiny bean (’cause we’re Beantown? Riiight.).

    I don’t want it, I don’t want the traffic nightmares, the cost overruns, the waste, the noise or the farce. Let someone else have it.

  2. I forgot to mention my confusion the first time we got a restaurant bill, when I noticed that the tax was what, 11%? I guess carving up the city’s property-tax base for TIF kickbacks wasn’t such a good idea after all.

    I actually like the bean, though. And the nice wading fountain thingy next to it. At least they’re well-done overpriced public art, which is more than you can say for the Gehry monstrosity of an amphitheater next door.

  3. Did you have a good time here, Neil? Did you have a Chicago Style Stuffed Deep Dish pizza? I’m sad to say that pizzerias here report that thin crust is preferred to Deep Dish almost 100 times to 1. I take you didn’t take any Chicago baseball in. Speaking of the Bean, it got vandalized earlier this year. Cleaned up by taxpayer money I think.

  4. No pizza of any crust depth, but a fair bit of Thai food. And we went to Wrigley on Friday, where we got to see the Cubs win on a 10th-inning walkoff walk. That was a fun day.

    Speaking of Wrigley, I looked in vain for any sign that it was “crumbling,” as many reports have had it. I know there was that chunk of concrete that fell a few years ago, but it all looked in decent shape to me.

  5. don’t forget you can’t say anything bad about rickety field its breaking a taboo. who ever buys the team will have to make a decision on the park issue before more chunks of concrete start tumbling down..

  6. neil by any chance has there been any cost estimates for renovating rickety field??.. rumour has it 600-900 million.. can u confirm or deny?? also is there a latest engineering report floating out there on the conditon of the park??

  7. neil by any chance has there been any cost estimates for renovating rickety field??.. rumour has it 600-900 million.. can u confirm or deny?? also is there a latest engineering report floating out there on the conditon of the park??

  8. $600-900m is insane – I remember a report a decade or so ago that you could rebuild the entire park from scratch for about $100 million. (Add inflation, say $200 million today.)

    I haven’t seen or heard of any recent engineering reports, though I would assume one was done after the falling-concrete incident.

  9. as of noon chi time the chicago tribune has reported the tribune co and the ricketts have made a deal. next step is mlb approval. I wonder how long til the cubs sell the ballpark to the sports facility authority for rehab/replacement

  10. Chicago Sun Times is reporting today (July 7 2009) that the Cubs would like to revisit plans to add the “triangle building” on the corner of Clark & Waveland, and renovate areas of Wrigley such as the woeful bathrooms and concourses in time for the 2014 100 year anniversary of Wrigley. The dollar amount quoted is $250 million.
    Of course, after laying out $900 million for the Cubs, the Rickett’s will in all likelihood start lobbying for money from the city (TIFS anyone?) and the state, to defray THEIR cost for the proposed changes…

  11. Oh, and the Reader is a TERRIFIC source for investigative columns and reports on Chicago’s 2016 bid…the other media outlets within Chicago are little more then cheering sections for the 2016 Olympic bid…asking NO tough questions with regard to whether taxpayers will potentially be on the hook for the likely cost overruns…(we will…ALL of us, as you can count on some federal funding)