Mayor Richard Daley likes to say his dream of bringing the Olympics to Chicago won’t be a drain on taxpayers’ wallets and pocketbooks.
“Tax money isn’t paying for it. There’s no tax money whatsoever,” Daley said earlier this year. “We are very strong in that position … in the regard to having that be sponsored by the private sector and others.”
The 2016 Olympic bid committee states that the $4.8 billion estimated cost would be paid for with contributions from wealthy donors, corporate sponsorships, television rights and ticket sales to ceremonies and sporting events.
But the reality is more complicated than that. Hundreds of millions of dollars in local, state and federal tax money already is committed, from acquiring land for the proposed Olympic Village to helping construct sporting competition venues.
Adding up the list of 2016-related expenses and we got to $2 billion plus! It’s much higher because two large categories of expenses were “unknown” or “undetermined.” See the Tribune’s table of citizen expenses…