Sunday, April 15, 2007

USOC Selects Chicago over Los Angeles for 2016 U.S. Candidate

Ah yes, be careful what you wish for, you might get it...the USOC's 11-member Board of Directors selected Chicago over Los Angeles to be the U.S. candidate for the 2016 Olympic Games.

We believe Los Angeles had a much more reliable plan, there are some serious issues with Chicago's temporary stadium concept and we think there are many aspects of the bid that must change in order to win internationally.

However, we want to also give credit to those responsible for Chicago's Olympic dream, starting with the founder and visionary of this process, Akif Malik and the Chicago Metro Organizing Committee. If it weren't for his initiatives, we wouldn't have an Olympic Games debate going on in Chicago.

We aren't sure whether Mayor Daley understands what he has got himself into. Now, how the city works is going to be under the scrutiny of the world. For all these years, he can do what he wants, but now outsiders will have a laser eye into everything that is good and bad in Chicago, including the corruption that is embedded everywhere in the Daley regime.

The USOC must take a very aggressive approach toward controlling this process if it is going to be a success. That means being in charge of the bid. As we stated elsewhere, anything less would be a disaster based upon the track record of the City of Chicago under Daley.

It is rare for first-time IOC candidates to win an Olympic Games, but it can be done (Atlanta 1996). We always have believed Chicago has great potential, but now the question is whether Daley can step back enough to allow that to happen.

As for Los Angeles, we think the main lesson they should learn is that the next time (perhaps in 2009) they seek the bid, they need to figure out how to combine the spirit of the Olympic Games along with the technical and financial components.