The Chicago Tribune reports support for Chicago’s 2016 Summer Olympic Games is lower, with residents sharply divided whether the city should host the 2016 Games.
According to a Tribune/WGN poll, nearly as many residents opposed Chicago’s 2016 bid at 45 per cent, and 47 per cent support it. And residents increasingly and overwhelmingly oppose tax dollars to cover any financial shortfalls for the Games, with 84 per cent disapproving of the use of public money.
The Tribune reports the new results show slippage from the 2 to 1 support in a Tribune poll in February.
Sports finance expert Dennis Howard of the University of Chicago says, “when less than half of the folks polled indicate they’d be willing to support the Olympics, that’s certainly not an enthusiastic mandate for bringing the Games to Chicago. I can’t speak for the IOC members who will be making the decision, but I’d be fairly certain this would not help the cause for Chicago”.
Chicago 2016 issued a statement Thursday saying the poll was taken at a time when some taxpayers had lingering questions about whether they would be protected in the event of financial losses.
Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky said, “in the days since this poll was conducted, those questions have been answered and those concerns have been alleviated”.
Chicago 2016 President Lori Healey commented, “we’ve had tremendous public support for having the Games in Chicago. Polls are polls and they move all the time”.
She added, “I believe we’re addressing the fears of the Chicago City Council, certainly a commitment to transparency, and I’m hopeful that next week the city council will give its support to us so that we can go to Copenhagen and be ready to put our best foot forward”.
According to the Tribune poll, respondents made it abundantly clear that they disapprove of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s promise of an unlimited guarantee in the event the Games lose money, with 75 per cent opposed.