$1 Billion In Debt – It Could’ve Been Chicago

As the 2010 Olympics wind down in Vancouver, commentators and sports fans will be reviewing the footage and sorting through the performances, includng the death of one athlete.  But here’s one statistic that will likely haunt the citizens there for some time to come – one billion. That’s how much debt the city is facing – that we know of. From the New York Times:

As for Vancouver’s municipal government and the taxpayers, the bad news is already in. The immediate Olympic legacy for this city of 580,000 people is a nearly $1 billion debt from bailing out the Olympic Village development. Beyond that, people in Vancouver and British Columbia have already seen cuts in services like education, health care and arts financing from their provincial government, which is stuck with many other Olympics-related costs. Many people, including Mrs. Lombardi, expect that more will follow.

While the mood in the city has picked up since the start, when many people were suffering a severe case of buyer’s remorse, the looming budget realities make it unlikely that all will be forgiven or forgotten.

“While it’s very hard to see all the costs, I think people are going to pay for it for a long time,” said Lee Fletcher as he walked past several flowering cherry trees near his apartment outside Stanley Park, a large tract of forest tucked up against the city’s downtown. “Some people are going to benefit hugely, not the average guy. The average guy is going to see his taxes increase.”

As the cheers fade and the crowds return home, the residents of Vancouver will have to sort out the consequences of hosting the games. We wish them well.

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15 responses to “$1 Billion In Debt – It Could’ve Been Chicago

  1. The recent Summer Olympics in Athens has bankrupted Greece. Like Iceland before it, Greece is insolvent. Because of this, and because of the consolidation of currency under the European Union, the countries of Europe may have no other choice but to become the United States of Europe.
    If you think that Germany, Austria, Greece and Ireland couldn’t get along prior to 1939, think about how this will be received in 2010.
    The Olympics are the bane of every city & country’s existence it infects.
    The best thing that happened to Chicago lately was the humiliation that King Richard, Lord God Queen of Nothing Oprah, and President Simba suffered in Copenhagen.

  2. No way it would’ve been Chicago! Chicago’s plan would create jobs and still suit the citizens of Chicago.

  3. Grateful to No Games

    Thanks to everyone who supported the No Games cause/campaign. There at least one billion reasons to be grateful.

    Anyone know how many people were “handled” in anyway by security in Vancouver? Ticketed, “moved along”, etc…

    • Anthony Mendez

      what about transportation? yeah! thats wat i thought, might be 1 billion dollars overspent, but thats 1 billion dollars going to benefit the city.

  4. Anthony Mendez, why don’t you get over & move on that Chicago didn’t win the 2016 bid. If that is your real name, you support the cause of wealthy Caucasian people like George W. Bush.

    This reason hasn’t been mentioned before, the US have a strict passport/visa policy + airport security is a total nightmare. Confiscating harmless items from shampoo (bottles) to shaving (kits) which is a total waste of time & money. In response to that Transatlantic foiled terror attack plot in 2006.

    Anti-American sentiment is alive & well even though Obama is in the Oval Office. Especially the conflict in Iraq that was started by the last President.

    Corruption, crime & poverty is not only a problem in Brazil but also in Mexico all the way down to Argentina, Africa & Asia. Nowhere is safe but your own home.

    Mexico City hosted the Olympics in 1968, but still deal will social problems from drugs, gangs, abductions, kidnappings, assaults of innocent people, today. Not all Mexico is bad because there are some safe places there that has little or no crime, drugs, gangs, etc.

    After the games are over, Mexico was able to grow & become a well-developed country like the US, Canada, Europe, Japan & Australia. Mexico is a member of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development or OCED.

    The Rio bid is also political as well. The IOC want to give others an opportunity to host & fresh idea since it’s never been hosted in South America. After the games in Rio is over, I think Brazil will grow & become well-develop like Mexico.

    • Anthony Mendez

      Yep, there was an anti-American feeling. Chicago is the friendly USA, though. The Rio de Janeiro bid was only good, because its located on a different continent.

  5. Vancouver got burned by the real estate collapse, other than that, their financial and overall situations would have been fine.

    So yes, thanks to a global economic collapse that we could not have forseen seven+ years ago when all these plans were laid out, these games lost money.

    Why don’t you use your site to advance Chicago to the point that it one day CAN hold the games – rather than just trashing the olympics all the time?

    • Grateful to No Games

      Without the real estate crisis the “security” costs for 2010 went from $175 million to over a billion. So, I just wonder how it would be possible for the Games to do well with an $800 million overage on one item alone.
      By the way, how much did it cost for the 100,000 condoms the IOC distributed to the 7,000 athletes, staff etc. If half of the people are women that is 3,500 men getting 100,000 condoms for a two week party. A whole lot of whoopy going on in Vancouver! I’m glad Chicagoans won’t be subjected to all the nonsense.

  6. Every city that host the Olympics, debt and problems seem to follow. Why cities set themselves up for long-term cuts in basic services baffles the mind. I’m glad Chicago wasn’t awarded the games, they just couldn’t afford it.

  7. Chicago couldn’t afford host the Olympics. Windy City isn’t as dynamic as Big Apple (New York City) & City of Angels (Los Angeles). N.Y.C. + L.A. has name recognition & both are world-class city destinations. Majority of the world, haven’t heard or don’t even know where Chicago is on the map. Chicago today is known for having the highest sales tax in a large U.S. city.

  8. Anthony Mendez

    Yes it can idiots! Rio de Janeiro will be in debt now since the olympics are in the wrong hands.

  9. Anthony Mendez, you need to stop being in denial & accept that Chicago lost the 2016 bid. The Olympics + Chicago never connected, the Blagojevich scandal, the beating of Albert Derrion, etc.

    The United States grew in the 20th century tremendously due to the 2 World Wars, Cold War that this country is able to aid other nations that are in need of help. In this century, the US & other industrialized nations needs to focus on helping developing nations in Central/South America, Africa & Asia to grow.

    By 2050, Mexico, Brazil, India & China will have the same economy as the US, Canada, Europe, Japan & Australia combined that these countries could no longer be ignored.

    Rio was in the same position as Mexico City when they hosted the games in 1968. Mexico today is an industrialized nation even though social problems exist from crime, drugs & gangs.

  10. Anthony Mendez

    I fully understand that Rio de Janeiro can host an Olympics. I’m just pissed that Chicago lost that quality. It would extremely benefit this city. I keep on complaining to these people that they’re wrong.

  11. Anthony Mendez

    No Games Chicago is just spreading lies. You are f**king idiots. The Olympics would completely benefit this city and Chicago’s culture would blend perfectly with the Olympics’ culture.

  12. Reading how unhappy Mendez is at Chicago’s Olympic beatdown just brings a smile to my face!

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