Was Mayor Richard M. Daley four years too early in bidding for the Olympics? According to the Chicago Tribune’s Philip Hersh, a dispute over sponsorship revenues and broadcast rights cost votes for New York’s 2012 bid and Chicago’s 2016 bid:
Under the current agreements, which are open-ended, the USOC gets 12.75 percent of the U.S. television rights and 20 percent of the global sponsorship.Negotiations on the issue are ongoing.
Should it be resolved before the next USOC board meeting in late August, the idea of a 2020 bid could get board approval in time to meet the IOC deadline.
As a result, the United States Olympic Committee is considering a 2020 bid, but has left the name of the candidate city blank on paperwork submitted to the IOC. New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Minneapolis and Tulsa have all been named as possible host cities – but not Chicago.
Expect it to stay that way, even though Tokyo and Madrid – the other also-rans from the 2016 finals – are mounting new bids.
No city was going to beat Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics – it was finally South America’s turn – but Chicago was eliminated in the first round because IOC members knew the public wasn’t enthusiastic about the Olympics.
It’s not that we don’t like sports here in Chicago. We just didn’t trust the Daley Administration to oversee the contracts involved in building an Olympic village. Twenty years of handing out deals to cronies finally caught up with Daley as he sought the event that would vault him past his father as the greatest mayor in Chicago history, and finally stamp us as a world-class city, not just a great American city.
After losing in 2016, Daley said Chicago was unlikely to try again in 2020, because the IOC wouldn’t hold two consecutive Games in the Western Hemisphere. Emanuel, who’s supposed to be able to bring the world to Chicago, doesn’t need an Olympic failure on his record. It ended Daley’s career. President Obama may not want to put his prestige on the line a second time, either. Chicago will be an Olympic city when it’s a city free of corruption, cronyism and insider deals. In other words, enjoy the Games from London and Rio.
Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!