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Chicago 2016 Plan Includes Two Stadiums

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Initial plans to be implemented if Chicago hosts the 2016 Summer Olympic Games show there will be two stadiums for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies – Soldier Field and an 80,000-seat temporary track stadium attached to the Lakeside Center of McCormick Place, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Tribune sources familiar with the plan say that the concept might be a tough sell to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but is the most striking part of the plan that Chicago has drawn up.

Michael Segobiano, director of marketing for the city says, “we have presented and are considering multiple concepts for an Olympic stadium track and field venue and Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and we are not married to a single concept”, reports the newspaper.

Other elements include private funding for about $600 million in construction at new and existing venues, and for a $1.4 billion Olympic Village to house about 15,000 athletes, coaches and officials. The village building would later be sold as private residences and retail/commercial space.

There would be a large concentration of sports events and an Olympic Park east of Lake Shore Drive between Soldier Field and 35th Street, which, combined with the proposed location of the Olympic Village, would put nearly 75 per cent of the athletes within a mile of their competition sites.

Competitions for 16 of the 38 disciplines on the Olympic program as of 2012, including sports such as fencing, wrestling and weightlifting, would take place at McCormick Place, which would also be the site of the Main Press Center and the International Broadcast Center.

An archery venue would be built on Northerly Island, and a new aquatics centre, which would be a permanent facility costing about $130 million in private funding, would be located between Lake Shore Drive and the Dan Ryan Expressway near the Illinois Institute of Technology.

United States Olympic Committee (USOC) spokesman Darryl Seibel said, “we have a technical committee evaluating the material submitted by each of the cities and we are looking forward to receiving that report from that committee in the next few weeks. The assessment offered by this team of experts will be important in answering the first question before us – deciding whether or not to bid”.

He added, “at this point we are not discussing the specifics of what any city has submitted”.

Meanwhile ABC reports that the USOC told Chicago committee leaders they expected to narrow the field of the five cities competing for the Games to two or possibly three by either the end of this week or early next week. The other cities competing to become the U.S. candidate for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games are Houston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Write or read comments about this article

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