Daley confident going to Copenhagen

September 23, 2009 11:10:16 AM PDT
Just days before he leaves for Copenhagen, ABC7 goes one-on-one with Mayor Richard Daley. Mayor Daley told ABC7 he has no intention of going back on his pledge not to use city tax dollars to support the games. In the next breath, though, he points out Chicago's competitors use government money because they know the games are a good investment.

The mayor leaves Friday for perhaps one of the most pivotal week's of his two decades in his office.

"I think at this time in this city, this is very important to create jobs and an economic future for our city," said Mayor Daley.

Mayor Richard Daley sees the Olympics as being about much more than 17 days of athletic competition. To him, the Games represent thousands of jobs, global marketing, and a stimulus program for the city.

"Everyone asks what's Plan B if we don't get it? I really don't know. In the sense this recession is much deeper. It's getting deeper and deeper," said Daley.

The Mayor says he's confident his plans for Games in the parks will appeal to the International Olympic Committee. It also has the side-effect of keeping Chicago's proposed Olympic budget lower than those of Rio, Madrid and Tokyo.

"The key is we're not going to be buying land. Land is very valuable. So if you buy your land, that's half your cost sometimes higher than that. We're saving an enormous amount of money when you're building facilities on park land," said Daley.

Daley discounts skepticm about his ability to keep big projects on time and on budget.

While Millennium Park cost more than initial estimates, he points out it was privately financed and proved to be the key to revitalizing the area.

As for the Olympics, the Mayor admits no mistakes in his sales job to citizens.

"We're in the home stretch. We're not going to talk about if this could have happened or if that could have happen," said Daley.

Mayor Daley still insists he doesn't know whether President Obama will join his delegation next week in Copenhagen. He said the First Lady's sales pitch can stand on its own.

The President is sending key swing IOC voters a letter. It reads, in part, "If you honor Chicago with your selection, we will ensure that the Olympic and Paralympic Games are a key priority for our Nation.

As for Daley's own plans...

BRADLEY: "If we get the Games, do you still want to be mayor in 2016?"
"First we have to get the Games," said Daley. " I'm just worried about getting the Games. I'm not worried about my personal career, what's going to happen to me. Next week I could drop dead! I hope note. I'm just saying, you don't look at it that way."

The mayor refused to say whether he would consider bidding again for the Olympics should Chicago lose next week.


Load Comments