Web site ranks Chicago last in Olympic bid

March 23, 2009 6:56:43 PM PDT
An international Web site that ranks each city's chances of winning the 2016 Olympics now puts Chicago in fourth. That's last place among the cities contending for the games.

Chicago 2016 members say it means nothing.

The rankings are done by one analyst who is based in Canada. And while they are the result of computer analysis, committee members say all that really matters is what the International Olympic Committee members think of Chicago when they visit next week.

It was the latest rally in support of Chicago's Olympic bid Saturday. About 2,000 members of Chicago's Asian American community gathered at lane tech to send a message to the International Olympic Committee they should bring the 2016 games here.

"We feel very strongly about how strong our bid is," said Lori Healey, president, Chicago 2016.

The city's extensive plan for the venues and infrastructure for the games has been well documented. But so has that of Chicago's competitors. And, according to one analyst, the other bids are more likely to win.

According to GamesBids.com, Tokyo is the leading contender followed closely by Rio de Janeiro, then Madrid which just took over third place from Chicago, now ranked last. The analyst cites Chicago's dependence on corporate sponsors during this down economy and the lack of full government financial guarantees.

Those who oppose Chicago's bid welcome the latest rankings.

"It is good news to the people of Chicago who have not been told the truth about the games. It would bring debt and displacement," said Tom Tresser, NoGamesChicago.com.

Tom Tresser's group is planning a big rally against Chicago's bid when the IOC is in town next week. Chicago 2016 leaders say they are unconcerned with protests just as they dismiss the importance of the latest rankings.

"This is a single individual with a single entity that spends a lot of time crunching numbers on a computer. What it doesn't include are all the subjective and objective things that are very good about our bid," said Healy.

While the Canadian analyst from the GameBids Web site ranks Chicago last, he also says all four cities are very close and each has the necessary elements to win the bid.

Meantime, Chicago continues to have the best odds of winning among gamblers in both Europe and Las Vegas.