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No Games Chicago Update
Chicago 2016 Bid Faces
Withering Criticism

July 17, 2009
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Open letter to the IOC:
"Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

Unnecessary Olympics

I've lived in this city since I was born here in 1933. I've witnessed the many trials and tribulations it has endured and the great successes it has achieved. These diverse elements and the diversity of the city itself are what make Chicago great.

During the last 10 to 15 years in particular, Chicago has established itself as a destination for those who seek business opportunity, community lifestyle, recreation and cultural stimulation. As a part-time employee of the Art Institute, I hear people from all over the world tell me that we have more than achieved all that.

Given this reality, I see no reason that we need to pursue the Olympics. What would it add to a city that already has great international credentials? I see nothing but disruption of a city that already has great challenges to maintain its current lifestyle and growth.

To me such efforts are in the hands of those few who are pursuing ego-driven dreams. It makes no sense.

Paul Davies, Chicago
Letter to the Editor
Chicago Tribune
July 17, 2009

Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee:
On behalf of No Games Chicago, we would like to thank you once again for your kind reception during our recent visit June 16 through 18.

We were pleased to meet with IOC members, staff and others, to explain why we believe that Chicago would not be a suitable host city for the 2016 Olympic Games.  
On June 16 and 17 we presented your Communications Director, Mr. Mark Adams, a total of 100 copies of our "Book of Evidence" consisting mainly of articles from the Chicago press confirming our view that Chicago does not have the financial resources, competence, infrastructure or public acceptance necessary for an Olympic-level event, and, further, these conditions are not likely to change by 2016.  He promised he would deliver them to you.
If you did not receive a copy please contact Mr.  Adams and request he send you a copy.  If you would prefer an electronic version of the "Book of Evidence," you may download it from our website,
Since we visited you in Lausanne, there have been more developments in Chicago.  In the Chicago City Council, a proposed ordinance was introduced that would limit the city's liability from Olympic related spending to [USD] $500 million, should Chicago be chosen as the host city of the 2016 Games.  [This amount of $500 million was approved by the Chicago City Council in March of 2007.]  This ordinance has the support of a number of aldermen and regardless of its success, it is indicative of the level of local concern regarding hosting the 2016 Olympic Games in Chicago.

Also, the 2016 Committee has started to hold meetings around the city to quell the public outcry that followed Mayor Daley's announcement that he intends to sign the Host City Contract. While the Mayor and the 2016 Committee knew that they would have to sign this contract, it was news to most city officials and citizens and it made major headlines here.

The public meetings are not going well for the 2016 Committee and the local papers are carrying daily coverage of the outrage and skepticism that citizens bring to these meetings.
May we recommend the following articles to give you a complete update on the status of the 2016 bid here:
  • 3 letters to the editor from today's Chicago Tribune which are typical of the kinds of letters our papers are receiving and printing
  • Sun-Times editorial "If taxpayers are at risk, it's not worth it."
  • 4 recent editorial cartoons
  • "Pony Up: 2016 Olympics Will Cost You" by Phil Verdi, one of our top sports writers
  • Skeptical account of 2016 community forum by the business reporter for the Chicago Tribune
  • Account of a 2016 forum from a citizen journalist
  • Chicago Tribune reporting on the Mayor's flip-flops
  • Crain's Chicago Business reporting on the Mayor's flip-flops
  • The Olympic Expenditure Cap Ordinance
  • Article on the introduction of this ordinance
  • Chicago Reader account of the Mayor's attempt to bargain with the IOC and his misstatements
  • Chicago's own Inspector General criticizes the conduct of the 2016 Committee
These articles are available to download from our website at
If you have more questions we would be pleased to answer them and we may be reached by emailing us at
Sun-Times says "You'll Pay"