Edited by Wolfgang Maennig and Andrew Zimbalist
Chapter 6: An Analysis of the Political Economy for Bidding for the Summer Olympic Games: Lessons from the Chicago 2016 Bid
Robert A. Baade and Allen R. Sanderson 1 INTRODUCTION Rather from a simple change of heart, a way to deflect attention away from growing city-hall corruption scandals, or responding to the business community’s offering to front the bidding costs, in the summer of 2005 Mayor Richard M. Daley suddenly suggested that Chicago might consider seriously ‘going for the gold’ – competing for the right to host the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.1 Thus Chicago was to join Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles to vie for the United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) endorsement. The USOC subsequently selected San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago as the three applicant cities. Owing to local financial and political issues, largely surrounding funding for a stadium that could serve both the Olympics and the San Francisco 49ers’ football franchise, San Francisco withdrew its bid, leaving only Chicago and Los Angeles for the USOC to consider. In a close vote, the USOC chose Chicago on April 14, 2007, as the United States’ candidate city.2 On June 4, 2008, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose four of the seven applicant cities – Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo.3 Sixteen months later (October 2, 2009), at the IOC session in Copenhagen, Rio de Janeiro was selected on the third ballot. The selection of a host city for the Olympic Games by the IOC reflects both the political and economic character of the event. The IOC must project an objectivity and fairness in making its selection, the political...
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