Chicagoans Cool Off on Olympic Bid

Financial concerns drive lukewarm public support
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2009 10:20 AM CDT
International Olympic Committee members walk past the King College Prep High School band, Sunday, April 5, 2009 in Chicago. Chicago is a proposed host of the Olympics in 2016.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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(Newser) – Local support for Chicago's bid to play host to the 2016 Olympics has fallen sharply, with public opinion evenly split, the Chicago Tribune reports. Just 47% of Chicagoans in a new poll support the mayor’s initiative—a 14-point slide—while 45% oppose it. The main issue is expense: 84% disapprove of the Richard Daley's pledge to use taxpayer money to cover shortfalls. The IOC will name the 2016 host city within a month.

"When less than half of the folks polled indicate they'd be willing to support the Olympics, that's certainly not an enthusiastic mandate for bringing the Games to Chicago," says a sports finance expert, adding that the numbers could hurt the city's chances to sway the IOC.