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Chicago Jobs would be Created by Olympics

Posted on June 29, 2009

As many of you may already know, the City of Chicago is in the running to host the 2016 Olympics. Aside from bringing business and international attention to the city, hosting such an event would create thousands of Chicago jobs.

Overall, the games would create 315,000 new jobs and generate more than $20 billion in new economic activity, including more than $1.5 billion in business taxes throughout the state. The games also will leave behind an aquatics center, amphitheater for sporting and cultural events, a multi-sport facility and 50-meter recreational and competition swimming pool, new hockey field, new tennis courts and new recreational space at Northerly Island.

Officials believe the benefits of hosting the games will heavily outweigh any possible negatives or burden to taxpayers.

“Those who are involved in putting together the finances for the games have consistently assured me and others that the risk to taxpayers of signing this agreement is small, while the jobs, revenue and other economic benefits from the games would be great, should we get them,” Mayor Richard M. Daley said. “And, so will the legacy to our children and our neighborhoods.”

In fact, if the Olympics failed to make a profit, which would be the worst case scenario, the International Olympic Committee would make more than $2.2 billion in various “safety nets” available to help protect taxpayers. These would include: a projected surplus of $450 million in the budget for the games, $1 billion in event risk insurance, a $500 million guarantee from the city, $250 million from the State of Illinois and $375 million in insurance against cancellation of the games.

“Simply put, I believe that at a low risk to taxpayers, the Olympic Games will be a huge boost to our economy, raising it to a new level,” Daley said. “The games will help us recover sooner from the recession that still grips our nation and enable us to better compete in the global economy.

“Hundreds of thousands of jobs will be created for hardworking Chicagoans as we lead up to the games and more jobs will be created after the Olympics have ended and our city is even more clearly positioned globally as a great place to visit and conduct business,” he added.

No summer Olympics Games since 1972 has lost money, and on top of that, American cities that have hosted the games have returned an average operating surplus of $748 million.

Chicago will have to wait until October 2 to see if it will be hosting the games, as that’s the date the International Olympic Committee will make its final decision.