City Council Gives Green Light To Chicago 2016 Bid Financial Guarantee

The Chicago City Council voted unanimously, by a vote of 49-0, in favour of a full governmental financial guarantee for the city’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Under the ordinance approved Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is authorized to sign the standard International Olympic Committee (IOC) Host City Contract with the full backing of Chicago’s city government.

Before the vote the Mayor called on aldermen to “vote your conscience” but said the Olympics would be “a great opportunity for the city”, reports CBS.

Minutes before the roll was called Mayor Daley told the aldermen, “this is not about Richard M. Daley’s legacy. This is about the city of Chicago. This is a journey. A journey requires all of us being committed”.

Mayor Daley said after the vote, “I’m grateful to the aldermen and our residents for the critical role they’ve played in making Chicago’s bid to host the Games the strongest ever put forward by our country. Chicago 2016 will head to Copenhagen in less than 30 days, and with today’s decision, we are sending a message to the world that Chicago wants the Olympic Games to be held here”.

Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016 said, “today’s successful outcome is the result of an incredibly collaborative effort by the Mayor, the City Council, and our bid, and it epitomizes everything the world has come to expect from Chicago – transparency, competence and an ability to deliver. I’m thankful to the aldermen for their support and excited about the momentum the vote gives our team heading into the final weeks of this campaign”.

He added, “our vision for hosting the Games is to deliver a spectacular sport experience for the athletes of the world and, as the IOC Evaluation Commission noted in their report last week, turn the centre of the city into an Olympic playground. But we’ve also been ever mindful of our responsibility to develop a plan that was financially responsible and will leave a sustainable urban, sport, social and environmental legacy for the community. The Chicago City Council has agreed to our plans (to) do just that. As we head to Copenhagen next month, we’re hopeful that the voting members of the IOC agree”.

The contract requires the city to take full financial responsibility for the Olympics and a proposed $4.8 billion operating budget, reports the Associated Press.

The other three cities bidding for the 2016 Games – Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid – have all signed contracts guaranteeing public backing if they get the 2016 Games.