The Chicago City Council last week gave Mayor Richard Daley approval to sign the International Olympics Committee’s host city contract, which puts the city on the hook financially if the 2016 Summer Games lose money.
The IOC will announce its decision on Oct. 2. Chicago is vying against Tokyo, Madrid, and Rio de Janeiro.
Daley has repeatedly said that no taxpayer dollars would go to fund the games. He initially pledged that the city would be on the hook for no more than $500 million, with insurance and a state guarantee totaling $2 billion kicking in before the city guarantee, in what he has called the unlikely event the games lose money.
Daley first avoided signing the unlimited financial pledge, but the IOC requires it. The council was upset and called for more oversight. It also sought a review of the city’s Olympics proposal by the Civic Federation of Chicago.
The group’s report found that the city’s $4.8 billion operating budget for its bid to host the games is reasonable and has adequate protections against financial risks, but added insurance is needed to protect against the construction risks of building the privately financed Olympic Village.
The $4.8 billion budget includes the cost of operations, building sports facilities, providing an Olympic Village, and hosting the Paralympic Games.