City's 2016 Olympic bid submitted

February 6, 2009 3:29:17 PM PST
The bid is in. Chicago sent it's billion-dollar plan to host the 2016 Games to the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland Friday.Mayor Daley and others were on hand for the send-off.

Members of Chicago's 2016 committee gave each other high fives to go along with their high hopes as students at the Jesse Owens school helped t hem send-off the city's Olympic plan.

The contents of the 560-page bid book are top secret. Details will not be released until one more week.

"The changes are really quite exciting, and I think the bid book is in very good shape," said Chicago 2016 Chairman Pat Ryan.

Inside the bid book are detailed plans for venues, construction, and financing. Spelled out in black and white is information about revenue predictions, cost estimates and -- important to Chicagoans -- where, specifically, the money is coming from.

"This will not affect taxpayers. This will not affect taxpayers. We've said it 1,000 times, and we'll say it again," Daley said.

The family of famed Olympian Jesse Owens took part in the send-off activities in Chicago.

As for the competition, Rio, Madrid and Tokyo are all flaunting government financing of their Olympic plans, a fact those cities argue makes them the safer bet during a global recession. Chicago's counterargument is that private sponsors have already donated $45 million to the city's bid, which is 90 percent of what needs to be raised by October.

"We have to show the evaluation commission, give them comfort and [be] certain that this money will be there. That's the challenge," Ryan said.

"At the end of the day, it comes to who do they trust to put on an excellent Games. The IOC can trust in Mayor Daley, Pat Ryan and the bid committee of Chicago 2016," said Jim Scherr USOC.