Chicago will not be hosting the 2016 Olympic games.
Goodbye skyrocketing property values! It is quite a let down. Towards the end there, there was really a feeling of inevitability about it. I guess we were overly optimistic.
I remember when we went to London during their bid for the 2012 Olympics. There were “back the bid” signs everywhere we went and I thought, “How exciting! It would be neat to be a part of that.” I never really got that feeling here in Chicago, like everyone in the city was pulling for it. Certainly, everyone in my neighborhood was not pulling for it. There were some legitimate reasons, and some not.
For example, one concern was that bringing the Olympics, specifically to the poorer South Side neighborhoods, will raise property values pushing out the people who live paycheck to paycheck and therefore rent instead of own. If the property is more expensive, the rent will be forced up, and they won’t be able to afford to pay. This is a legitimate concern, however, I don’t know how I feel about that exactly. I do see the point, but on the other hand, A) I don’t rent, I own, so rising value is good for me, and B) I want my neighborhood to be nice. I refuse to accept the argument that improving the neighborhood is a bad thing, and I refuse to accept a crappy (sometimes dangerous) neighborhood.
Other concerns are ridiculous, such as the people complaining about how the Olympics will create traffic or parking problems. Sheesh, talk about self-centered. I don’t want this major ridiculous event that half the world would kill to get because for 2 weeks I might have trouble getting a parking spot! Waaah! I also reject the arguments about keeping the stadium out of the park that hardly anyone wants to go to now anyway. I hear people complaining that hosting an Olympics is a money losing venture. That is probably true, if you look at it on a city wide scale. But if you live in this neighborhood, at Olympics ground zero, it is not true. Think about it: all of the infrastructure that will be built, will be built here. But all of the cost will be split across all of Chicago. So the people out in the suburbs are essentially paying for your infrastructure improvements. They should be the ones complaining, if anybody!
I don’t know if the public opposition had anything to do with it or not. There could have been a whole host of reasons. And, hey, if Rio de Janeiro wins, I won’t feel too bad. The Olympics have never been hosted anywhere on the South American continent. That is a shame. I can’t begrudge the judges if they award it to them over the U.S. who has hosted many.
By the by, there isn’t quite as much excitement over the Paralympics, but don’t discount them…I just learned of the existence of wheelchair fencing!!