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Chicago's Two-stadium Plan Is Still Ok


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I think Pat Ryan would not be so stupid as to keep the Chicago two stadium plan. Everyone in Chicago hates the idea, and thinks a permenant stadium is the ONLY way to go if we want to beat San Francisco or Los Angeles. Even a stadium in Chanpaign or Madison is better than that. :P

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I think Pat Ryan would not be so stupid as to keep the Chicago two stadium plan. Everyone in Chicago hates the idea, and thinks a permenant stadium is the ONLY way to go if we want to beat San Francisco or Los Angeles. Even a stadium in Chanpaign or Madison is better than that. :P

Exactly. That's what I think, too. A permanent stadium would trump San Francisco. And I think SF came out ahead in the USOC's poll of their colleagues -- notwithstanding all the political risks of holding it in the City by the Bay. But it looks like Gavin's won the first round. Good for us!!

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Guest ChiIn2016

I believe that Atlanta used two stadiums for both ceremonies, with the old Fulton County Stadium right next to what is now Turner Field. County Stadium was used as a holding/staging area for the athletes, and they basically walked next door when their time came. I think that this is Chicago's idea also. Staging the athletes in Soldier Field gives them a much more roomier and comfortable waiting area than in the lower corridors of the new stadium.

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Guest ChiIn2016

Olympic bid team is given advice

U.S. committee tells Chicago officials that their stadium plan needs some work

By Mickey Ciokajlo, Tribune staff reporter. Tribune staff reporter Kathy Bergen contributed to this report

Published August 10, 2006

Chicago officials are re-examining their unusual proposal of hosting opening and closing ceremonies for the 2016 Olympic Games in two adjacent stadiums following a meeting Wednesday with experts from the U.S. Olympic Committee.

"The feedback on the stadium is that it needs work," said Patrick Ryan, the insurance executive heading Chicago's bid to host the games.

But neither Ryan nor Mayor Richard Daley would elaborate on what advice they received from the USOC experts, who visited to help the city refine its pitch. The experts will hold similar sessions in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the two other U.S. cities vying for the Games.

A critical issue for Chicago is the lack of a stadium that holds at least 75,000 people for the ceremonies as well as for track and field events. Chicago has pitched constructing a temporary stadium near Soldier Field and parading athletes between the venues during the opening and closing ceremonies.

"It's still out there," Daley said at a City Hall news conference following the four-hour meeting, a portion of which he attended. "And there's a lot of other options that could be out there, too. You know, we just started the whole process. ... There's a lot of proposals out there, a lot of rethinking. People come in, let's be realistic, with new ideas, looking at [it] differently."

Ryan said the experts did not "definitively" kill the notion of a two-stadium ceremony although he noted that the final proposal might only call for one venue.

"Did they tell us that we can't have two stadiums?" Ryan said. "No, they didn't tell us that, and I stick with that answer. The point is they're guiding us. They're guiding us to what will win."

Ryan said temporary or "re-purposeful" stadiums that are available for use later in a new configuration are "very much in vogue today."

"Clearly that's something that we're heavily engaged in and we're analyzing it," Ryan said.

Daley and Ryan were vague with many of their answers. The city's marketing director, Michael Segobiano, likened the circumspect approach to the Bulls championship era when coach Phil Jackson "would not publish their game plan before they played the Los Angeles Lakers."

The next step in the process is for the three cities to submit a domestic applicant questionnaire by the third week in September. If the USOC decides to move forward with a bid for the 2016 Games, it will select a U.S. city by the end of March.

"I think we're in a very strong position," Daley said, adding that he expected his counterparts in Los Angeles and San Francisco to make similar statements. "I think this is an opportunity to showcase America in the heart of America, Chicago, and to really show what America is really about."

Bob Ctvrtlik, USOC vice president for international relations, characterized the meeting as "very productive."

"We talked about strengths and weaknesses and the process going forward," he said, adding it was "premature to talk about specifics."

Daley stressed that other issues, such as security and public transportation, are also important.

Ryan said the USOC liked the idea of concentrating most of the events on the lakefront although "they want to make sure we don't have too much concentration."

Ryan said the USOC told them that Chicago polled well internationally and that Daley's commitment to the effort was "very, very important."

Also Wednesday, in the wake of news that Lowe's has put on hold two stores in Chicago, Daley continued his harsh criticism of the "big-box" ordinance that the City Council approved last month. However, Daley would not say whether he plans to veto the ordinance, the deadline for which is still more than a month away.

"First of all, you have to educate the public about this," Daley said. "This is not a political issue. ... This is the welfare of the city. Basically, the development of the city. If suburban areas can develop, why can't we?"

"I'm sick and tired of people getting in their cars and driving out, driving out of the city, losing sales tax and real-estate tax money," Daley said. "I'm sick and tired of people getting in their cars and having to go for jobs in the suburban areas."

----------

mciokajlo@tribune.com

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Great news for Chicagos bid! B) Obviously the USOC doesn't think that the 2 stadium concept is out of the question. For ceremonies, yes but other wise it is a large advantage over the other two contenders.

As Baron pointed out in the SF thread, SF is going to need some sort of staging area/warm up track at Candlestick, something it doesn't really have room for. With the temp stadium Chicago has an idea that should work as well as Atlanta's 2 stadiums did.

All 3 cities have a lot of tweaking before the final decision but at this point Chicago is in a good position with it's compact bid.

Newsome has already said he wants San Francisco to be more like Chicago - maybe Daley will give him some pointers - if he asks nicely! B)

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I believe that Atlanta used two stadiums for both ceremonies, with the old Fulton County Stadium right next to what is now Turner Field. County Stadium was used as a holding/staging area for the athletes, and they basically walked next door when their time came. I think that this is Chicago's idea also. Staging the athletes in Soldier Field gives them a much more roomier and comfortable waiting area than in the lower corridors of the new stadium.

But the difference is that Atlanta held the Opening/Closing Ceremonies and Athletics all in Turner Field (Olympic Stadium). Chicago plans to host Athletics in the Temporary Stadium since Soldier Field is unsuitable for Athletics and host the ceremonies at Soldier Field.

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I believe that Atlanta used two stadiums for both ceremonies, with the old Fulton County Stadium right next to what is now Turner Field. County Stadium was used as a holding/staging area for the athletes, and they basically walked next door when their time came. I think that this is Chicago's idea also. Staging the athletes in Soldier Field gives them a much more roomier and comfortable waiting area than in the lower corridors of the new stadium.

Not just Atlanta; but LA - the LA Arena nearby was the 'support' stadium (& then became the Boxing venue); Barcelona had the new stadium (I think the St. Jordi) as the 'holding' tank. I think Sydney had one of the other venues close to Telstar to do the same. It wasn't set out that way; but it's just kinda evolved that there has been an adjunct stadium closeby that has indeed helped primarily in the staging of the Ceremonies. I mean the Ceremonies are only the Biggest Show on Earth every 4 years -- so you need all the 'backstage' so to speak.

But Chicago doesn't seem to understand this. One is merely backstage; the other is the 'show.'

I also want to make a comment on 'the over-crowding of Chicago's proposed venues downtown.' I was right again. The Chicago downtown plan as of now is just too crowded. They have to allow breathing room in-between venues so it doesn't feel like a meat market; so in case any suicide bombs get through, it will not affect more than one venue at a time -- AND will allow for many emergency and police vehicles to pass through quickly.

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Guest ChiIn2016

I see the plans for the ceremonies to be staged in whatever new stadium is erected next to Soldier Field, with Soldier Field used as the backstage and staging area. The new stadium will hold the ceremonies as well as track and field. Soldier Field will be used during the game to host soccer (football) matches. Chicago's pro soccer team used Soldier Field as their home field until their new stadium opened this year. Soldier Field will not go unused during the games.

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I see the plans for the ceremonies to be staged in whatever new stadium is erected next to Soldier Field, with Soldier Field used as the backstage and staging area. The new stadium will hold the ceremonies as well as track and field. Soldier Field will be used during the game to host soccer (football) matches. Chicago's pro soccer team used Soldier Field as their home field until their new stadium opened this year. Soldier Field will not go unused during the games.

That's more like it. They should have said that and dropped the 2-stadium concept like it was something entirely revolutionary.

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That would make more sense than the 2 stadium hosting plan. But the question is would the IOC buy this plan? They tend to favour the more glitterly and ambitious plans for brand new stadiums not temporary stadiums. Look at London, Beijing, Sydney,etc.

The stadium problem is going to be a big achillies heel for Chicago's bid.

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I think we're missing the point here. The problem with Chicago's stadium plan is not the two stadium aspect of it, but rather the temporary nature of the second stadium. Two adjacent stadiums would probably be no big deal by itself, a la Atlanta, but having the main track and field + ceremonies stadium being completely torn down afterwords seems ridiculous. At least Atlanta converted it into a baseball stadium.

If Chicago comes up with some idea that would make the second stadium part of some permanent structure, then maybe it'll be OK.

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I think we're missing the point here. The problem with Chicago's stadium plan is not the two stadium aspect of it, but rather the temporary nature of the second stadium. Two adjacent stadiums would probably be no big deal by itself, a la Atlanta, but having the main track and field + ceremonies stadium being completely torn down afterwords seems ridiculous. At least Atlanta converted it into a baseball stadium.

If Chicago comes up with some idea that would make the second stadium part of some permanent structure, then maybe it'll be OK.

Yes; I've also expressed that before. Spending even $250 mil for a temporary stadium is kinda stupid. Build a proper brand-new stadium; then tear down the old one. But that's just one of the 'irresponsible ways' the IOC views things and how you conduct business with them if you want to host the Games.

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I think we're missing the point here. The problem with Chicago's stadium plan is not the two stadium aspect of it, but rather the temporary nature of the second stadium. Two adjacent stadiums would probably be no big deal by itself, a la Atlanta, but having the main track and field + ceremonies stadium being completely torn down afterwords seems ridiculous. At least Atlanta converted it into a baseball stadium.

If Chicago comes up with some idea that would make the second stadium part of some permanent structure, then maybe it'll be OK.

I think they'll be reducing the capacity of the temp stadium and it will be used for future Athletics purposes. Honestly, it doesn't seem pretty attractive to me. None of the major sporting franchises in Chicago need a new home stadium. Will this "temp stadium" actually be utilized and viable for a future purpose? The purpose of building an Olympic Stadium is to leave a lasting legacy for the city, unfortunately I do not see that happening in Chicago.

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I find it interesting that 2 of the 3 finalists in this round are Chicago and SF. It seems like the spirit of old Avery Brundage is hovering about. He called Chicago home but left his impressive Asian Art Collection to the city of San Francisco. Hmmm, I wonder if that would be the roots for a possible 2016 Opening Ceremony?

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this may have been answered already, but can someone tell me...is there anyway that Chicago could build a brand new Olympic stadium (that will remain after the Games-even if reduced in size like Atlanta, London, etc.)....I just don't know if it is me, but some of the US bids seem a bit "shaky" at this point, especially Chicago....but that may be because it is early, but still if they need a bid in by March 2007 it still worries me a bit....I think SF and even LA are in the lead as of now

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Yes; I've also expressed that before. Spending even $250 mil for a temporary stadium is kinda stupid. Build a proper brand-new stadium; then tear down the old one. But that's just one of the 'irresponsible ways' the IOC views things and how you conduct business with them if you want to host the Games.

I highly doubt that they'll tear down Soldier's Field when they invested a vast amount of money in upgrades into it more recently.

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this may have been answered already, but can someone tell me...is there anyway that Chicago could build a brand new Olympic stadium (that will remain after the Games-even if reduced in size like Atlanta, London, etc.)....I just don't know if it is me, but some of the US bids seem a bit "shaky" at this point, especially Chicago....but that may be because it is early, but still if they need a bid in by March 2007 it still worries me a bit....I think SF and even LA are in the lead as of now

Well from what I've read in the past. Lots of money was invested into Soldier's Field's upgrades and renovations. It would be such a waste to abandon the stadium for a new one so early after. At the moment, there is no need for another large stadium in Chicago, especially an Olympic sized stadium. There would be no permanent tenants and would ultimately turn into a BIG WHITE ELEPHANT. I don't think I've heard any viable plan for a post-use for an Olympic Stadium in Chicago.

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Until we see what the plans are for the Chicago stadium we can't make a judgement as to whether the IOC will buy it or not. The committee has already promised that there will be a legacy thingy attached with it as well as an Olympic Park.

Granted, the IOC was steamed about how Atlanta essentially stripped away any legacy with their Olympic Stadium after the games but they are obviously open to stadium conversions for usage after the games as London's stadium plan shows.

There still needs to be some tweaking in the plans but at this point, with the venues being planned in close proximity as opposed to the 50-60 mile distance that other cities are proposing for some of the major events to take place, not to mention the gorgeous lakefront locale of the village and major venues, Chicago is certainly in a very good position at this point.

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