Chicago 2016 CEO: "Chicago's a Good Risk"

Pat Ryan makes one-on-one visits to nervous aldermen

By Mary Ann Ahern
|  Friday, Aug 28, 2009  |  Updated 8:45 PM CDT
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MLK III:  Chicago "Made for Olympic Games"

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Patrick Ryan, head of Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics, speaks at a news conference in Chicago, Monday, June 22, 2009, where he assured city taxpayers and city council members that it's unlikely they'll be on the hook for millions in case the games turn out to be a financial flop.

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MLK III: Chicago "Made for Olympic Games"

The son of Martin Luther King Jr. says the 1996 Games turned Atlanta into a world-class city, and they can do the same for Chicago.
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With just over a month to go until the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games is announced, Chicago 2016 CEO Pat Ryan is paying one-on-one visits with aldermen in an attempt to calm fears about taxpayer money.

"Chicago's a good risk," Ryan said Friday.

To allay fears, the 2016 team has taken out $500 million worth of insurance. It's a huge buffer that spreads the risk to several companies before any taxpayer money is used.

"There are panels of multi-carriers, high quality, nobody taking any really large amount of risk as an individual company. So we think that's just a very good way to manage it and protect the taxpayers," Ryan said.

A report by the Chicago Civic Federation says the city's blueprint for the 2016 Games is "fair and reasonable, and provides adequate protection against financial risk to Chicago taxpayers."

The state has also pledged $250 million if the 2016 Games are a loss, but that's not happened when an American city has hosted the Games.

Full Coverage:  Chicago's 2016 Olympic Bid

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