Ben Joravsky, writing in the Chicago Reader on August 3, 2016 said this about opposing the 2016 bid:
Let’s face it, folks: When it came to Daley, everybody in Chicago was a rubber stamp.
Well, not everybody. At this point, I’d like to distribute some symbolic gold medals to the few intrepid souls who had the courage to tell the mayor the Olympics were a terrible idea—to tell the emperor he had no clothes.
Maybe by doing so I can encourage a few other brave dissenters to break from the ranks the next time another mayor proposes a really bad idea.
No Games Chicago: A coalition of activists, led by Tom Tresser and Bob Quellos, that questioned the city’s estimates and showed up at hearings to debate Daley’s boosters. The group even sent a delegation to Europe to petition the IOC to vote against Chicago’s bid.
I’m pretty sure no one in a position of power around here will ever credit the No Games crowd for turning the tide against the games—you wouldn’t want to encourage other citizens to think they could actually beat City Hall from time to time.
Allright now! That’s what we’re talkin’ about – a little love for No Games. Thanks, Ben, you were a lone voice in the media arena speaking out against the bid all those years ago.
Where were these guys in 2009?
Two more latecomers to the ranks of No Games Chicago!
Chicago Tribune sports reporter David Haugh writes “In retrospect…” David – we said ALL those things seven years ago. Where were you? Oh, yeah – you, like the paper you work for and the billionaire who owned it then (Sam Zell) were BIG boosters of the bid.
And Steven Malanga, writing in the City Journal, says “Chicago’s Olympic Escape – The City Should be Glad It Didn’t Get the 2016 Summer Games.” No shit, Sherlock. Where were YOU in in 2009.
Come on, guys, would it kill you to at least ACKNOWLEDGE there WAS a group of people – volunteers with no budget and no office – who DID see all this and more – ACTED on what they knew. Acted effectively and acted without regard to their careers or even personal safety.
You will NOT erase us from the pubic record.
From WBEZ-FM Chicago Public Radio’s Worldview program from July 19, 2016 (35 minutes):
A front page story from the Sunday, July 17 2016 issue of the Chicago Tribune complained about the “pricey legacy” of the 2016 Olympic bid. With two full pages of interior text – guess who was NOT included in the article? No Games Chicago. We were all over the sale of the Reese Hospital site, the costs of acquisition, demolition and securing the site – back in 2009. That was just one of MANY objections we had to the entire process that the Tribune then did not cover. Oh, and the owner of the Chicago Tribune at the time, Sam Zell, was listed as a major donor to the bid – giving at LEAST $100,000!
Tom Tresser was asked to weigh in on the ongoing costs of the 2016 Olympic bid. Mayor Daley demolished the Michael Reese Hospital site in 2009 in an effort to impress the IOC. That will end up costing us as much as $150 million!
Holy cow! Where was Phil and the Chicago Tribune in 2009? You can read Phil’s amazing piece here.
You can download it as a PDF along with Tom’s somewhat aggravated reply here.
When the decision to award the 2016 Games to Rio was announced we said “Chicago didn’t just dodge a bullet – we dodged a cannonball.” We like Phil’s headline better.
Keep it up!
From CBC News, a great article, “Winner’s Curse? The Economics of Hosting the Olympic Games” – we might’ve re-titled it, “Loser’s Blessing”! – includes this video of a news segment reporting how the major corporate sponsors of the games, who pay around $100 million each, make huge profits from their association with the games and by supplying the operators with goods and services.