Sunday, September 24, 2006

Chicago announces Olympic plans

Plan for 2016 Olympics disclosed

By Greg Hinz
Sept. 23, 2006

(Crain's) — Arguing that Chicago is uniquely equipped to host an "athlete-centric" 2016 Olympics, officials have sketched out plans to scatter venues for 33 sports throughout a wide swath of the central part of the city.

Proposed in a bold effort to both involve neighborhoods and impress visitors is everything from tennis and whitewater rafting on the North Side lakefront to gymnastics and swimming on the Near West Side, judo at McCormick Place and track-and-field competition in Washington Park.

For the first time, officials also began to put some numbers on how much it would cost to build housing and sports facilities for athletes from around the world, with indications the ultimate price tag will approach or exceed $2 billion.

"We're not going to build ordinary venues. Chicagoans aspire to greatness," said former Aon Corp. CEO Patrick Ryan, who heads Olympic planning efforts for Mayor Richard M. Daley.

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