News From Chicago 2016

The city of Chicago’s Finance Committee approved Monday the use of more taxpayer money to help finance Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The measure is headed to the full city council on Tuesday. It’s part of a package of city guarantees and agreements required to be included in Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

The ordinance reportedly commits the city to use an unspecified amount of tax-increment financing dollars to help build the Olympic Village to house athletes during the 2016 Summer Games.

It also guarantees that the city will cover the cost of services such as additional police patrols and street cleaning, estimated at about $45 million and reaffirms a guarantee of $500 million, originally made in 2007, to cover any operating shortfalls for the Games.

Meanwhile Chicago hotels, restaurants and retailers would be subject to price controls during the Games to prevent price gouging, as agreed Monday at a city council meeting.

The Sun Times reports the decision to impose price controls during the Games is designed to prevent hotels from making a killing at the expense of athletes and spectators.

Restaurants and retailers would also be prohibited from charging exorbitant prices.

Chicago 2016 also promises to implement an “Olympic lane system” on city-controlled streets, form an “Olympic Brand Protection Commission” to police “ambush marketing and illegal street vending” and guarantee that “all transportation infrastructure improvements” outlined in the bid be completed and “supported by necessary and proper financing”, reports the Sun Times.