Wednesday, June 04, 2008

CHICAGO MAKES THE FINAL FOUR FOR 2016 OLYMPICS



Congratulations to Chicago for making the final cut along with Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro. Now the real heavy lifting of winning an Olympic bid begins.

Maybe it's the cynic in me, but why when I read an article with the title "IOC official says 'sign of goodwill' could help Chicago's Olympic bid" do I think that the term 'sign of goodwill' is a euphemism for "SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!"

I guess you have to read the entire article, but I'll highlight the excerpts (confirmation bias??) that lead me in that direction.

It is funny how the International grand-poo bahs appear to awarding of the Games as a thinly-veiled negotiating tool in order to extort more money from the USOC.

This is also IMO at the heart of the matter as to why baseball and softball are being bounced from the Games. If you can't send your professional athletes, which will bring your corporate sponsors and their mega-bucks to the coffers, than don't bother showing up.

To say that the real reason those sports are being bounced has to do with PED testing is absurd. How many women's softball players tested positive at any of the previous Games? How many sports with a much longer and richer history of higher levels of PED use in the Games (like track and field and weightlifting) continue to be Olympic sports. The answer is because if you shut down those sports, you shut down the Olympics in total. And then where will these money-grubbing whores look for work?

It's all about money and control. And who has it, and who wants it.
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-us-olympic-revenue-share-jun05,0,1006451.story?page=1&track=rss

IOC official says 'sign of goodwill' could help Chicago's Olympic bid
By Philip Hersh | Tribune staff reporter
2:29 AM CDT, June 4, 2008
ATHENS

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said Wednesday a ``sign of goodwill'' from the U.S. Olympic Committee in an ongoing revenue dispute can help Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Games.

``A clear indication the USOC is willing to find a solution and not refusing a solution could be very good for Chicago,'' Rogge told the Tribune. ``It would not have a negative impact [if there were no such sign], but this sign could have a positive impact.''

The dispute likely will have little effect on Chicago's expected selection as a finalist. The impact would be when the 110 IOC members vote Oct. 2, 2009, to choose the 2016 host.

Speaking after a Wednesday morning meeting between the IOC executive board and international Summer Olympic sports federation leaders who roundly criticized the USOC Tuesday, Rogge said the USOC has made a written proposal that could constitute that goodwill ``but it must be refined.''

Dividing the issue into three parts – a ``games cost'' contribution, a short-term solution, and a long-term solution – Rogge made unconditional the need for the USOC to begin paying its share of games cost, which covers things like doping control and expenses for judges and officials. Under terms of a longstanding contract with the IOC, the USOC is the only national Olympic committee (NOC) exempt from that payment.

``It is not morally acceptable the USOC does not take part in games costs like the other NOCs,'' Rogge added in the interview with the Tribune.

Rogge said the short-term solution would involve a contribution to the NOCs and the international sports federations. IOC member Denis Oswald, president of the Association of Summer Olympic Sports Federations (ASOIF), said Wednesday the USOC proposal on that matter is ``totally unacceptable'' because it leaves the USOC to decide how the funds would be allocated.

IOC member Hein Verbruggen of the Netherlands, ASOIF vice-president, had heated up the war of words over the United States' portion of Olympic revenues Tuesday, and the escalation of rhetoric could burn Chicago's bid for the 2016 Games.

Verbruggen called the USOC's share an ``immoral amount of money compared to what other people get.''

Verbruggen denied that recent attempts by him and Oswald to push for renegotiating the long-standing deal were related to the Chicago bid.

Verbruggen blamed Ueberroth for having linked the financial issue to Chicago's Olympic bid and lambasted Ueberroth for threatening to take the matter to the IOC ethics committee.

``Who do they think they are?'' Verbruggen said, referring to the USOC.

It seems apparent, however, that Oswald and Verbruggen are using the Chicago bid as leverage to pressure for USOC concessions. After raising the issue at an April IOC meeting in Beijing, they took it to the IOC executive board Wednesday.

``The timing of the public statements is peculiar, in that it seems to be prior to every bid-related decision,'' Ctvrtlik said.

``It is reflecting very badly on the USOC,'' said ASOIF director Andrew Ryan. ``It would be depressing if Chicago turns out to be the best bid to see it damaged by this ongoing discussion.''

In an open-ended contract begun 20 years ago and renegotiated in 1996, the USOC receives 12.75 percent of U.S. broadcast rights and 20 percent of the IOC's global sponsorship revenues. In the current Olympic cycle (2005 through 2008), that amounts to about $300 million, or 50 percent of the operating budget for the USOC, which gets no government financing, unlike nearly all the world's other national Olympic committees.

When those terms were agreed upon, nearly all the IOC's revenue came from U.S. sources. Those U.S. sources still provide about 62 percent of the revenues, according to people familiar with the accounting.

``When almost two-thirds of the revenue comes from one territory, it would seem counterproductive to do anything that would jeopardize those revenues,'' Ctvrtlik said.

The USOC winds up with more money from TV and sponsorship revenue than the IOC allocation to the other 204 national Olympic committees combined.

``I don't understand how you can justify that the rest of the world has to pay for the training of American athletes, and the richest country in the world pays nothing,'' Verbruggen said. ``Are we out of our minds?''

``No one wants to take all the money from the Americans tomorrow,'' Verbruggen said. ``They need to find new sources of revenue.''

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Below is an interesting link called GamesBids.com that handicaps the odds of each potential sites eventually winning the coveted Olympic bid.

Very interesting. Currently, Chicago has a slight lead over Tokyo and Rio.

I have to say in all the analysis Chicago almost has to prevail for two reasons:

1) Madrid is hurt by London having the 2012 Games as Tokyo is by Beijing having the 2008 Games in the rotation argument. Rio carries the burden of being the first South American site that would host. They may be hurt by security and/or facilities issues.

2) If ever there were two organizations that were made for each other as far as history and tradition of corruption, sleazy politics, graft and back-room deal making it would seem to be the IOC and Chicago politicians.

GO CHICAGO!!!!

http://www.gamesbids.com/english/content/bidx2016.shtml

BidIndex SUMMER 2016
CITY INDEX
Chicago CHI 05/29 60.73
Madrid MAD 05/29 59.50
Rio de Janeiro RIO 05/29 59.90
Tokyo TKY 05/29 60.66

What is BidIndex?
BidIndex is a mathematical model developed by GamesBids.com that when applied to an Olympic Bid, produces a number that can be used to rate a bid relative to past successful bids - and possibly gauge its potential success. The model was developed by observing historical trends and results of previous bids. BidIndex numbers can be theoretically used to compare competing bids and the relative strength of bids held in different years (e.g. to compare Paris 2008 with Paris 2012). A higher BidIndex indicates a greater chance of being elected.

BidIndex was reviewed in the March 2004 edition of Significance Magazine, a publication by the Royal Statistical Society.

Why BidIndex?
It has been observed in the past the IOC members do not vote based on the quality of the bid alone and often results are unpredictable. GamesBids.com wanted to find a way to compare Olympic Bids and normalize the results. BidIndex takes bid quality into account, but also evaluates other important factors such as Geopolitics, IOC politics, public support and other things considered to have an effect on the IOC voters. These results will help our readers gain an understanding into the relative strengths of the bids.

Does BidIndex work?
While no one can guarantee the results of an election, BidIndex will tell you which bids have more of the qualities of successful bids from the past. A high BidIndex number does not necessarily indicate a high quality bid, but a bid similar to other successful bids. When the model is applied to the 2008 bid, these results were obtained based on information a day before the vote:
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