By Barbara D'Amato
On October 2, the International Olympic Committee will decide whether Chicago will host the 2016 Olympic Games. Michelle Obama will travel to Copenhagen to make a case for Chicago to act as host.
Over the last few weeks, friends have lobbied me, both for and against Chicago hosting the Olympics. As if I have any say in the matter. But they want to convince me their view is right.
Con: The traffic congestion downtown will be horrible.
Pro: Transportation has all been worked out. And yes, Oprah’s block party, arguably a dry run, seemed to go well. [Duh]
Con: the construction ahead of time is going to mess up the whole area. Well, I live nearby, and I can imagine it will be dusty and noisy.
Pro: Construction will create jobs. And the buildings will be useful later.
Con: somehow the taxpayers will get stuck with the bill.
Pro: Mayor Daley says donors and developers are already lined up.
Actually, our own David Heinzmann is an expert on this, and I know next to nothing, so I’ll leave it at that. Opinions differ. But do I think some people are going to make a lot of gray money from this? Uh, yes.
Pro: it will showcase Chicago as a world class city. The events and Chicago’s many real excellences will be seen around the world—our incomparable architecture, our lovely lake, our parks.
Con: Who needs it?
And that’s an interesting question.
Is it worth it? When you see Chicago on the news worldwide—and for something other than yet another governor heading off to prison—does it make you feel proud to live in Chicago?
Does it make your heart beat faster?