Would the Olympics help Chicago?

Marketplace Staff Apr 3, 2009
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Would the Olympics help Chicago?

Marketplace Staff Apr 3, 2009
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Steve Chiotakis: An Olympic commission is touring Chicago this weekend. The city’s one of the finalists bidding to host the Summer Olympics in 2016. Here’s Marketplace’s Jennifer Collins.


Jennifer Collins: If the Windy City has its way, you’ll someday hear this echoing in its streets:

[Sound of the Olympics theme]

Mica Matsoff represents a private group leading the charge to bring the Olympics to the city.

Mica Matsoff: We see that businesses would prosper as a result of the games and so would residents would enjoy new employment opportunities.

Chicago would need several new sports facilities and an Olympic village. The city has 9 percent unemployment, and some say the games could generate more than 300,000 new jobs and bring in $22 billion over a decade.

Allan Sanderson: They’re off by a decimal place.

Allan Sanderson is a sports economist at the University of Chicago. He says the city could wind up with more like $2 billion, because everyone gets a cut of the cash — from the Olympic committee to the participating nations.

Sanderson: If we’re lucky, it’s a wash, we’ll break even.

Still, he says a big party isn’t a bad way to raise Chicago’s profile.

I’m Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

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