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Chicago back up US$500M for Olympic bid

Updated: 2007-03-16 10:14
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The City Council voted overwhelmingly Wednesday support the city's 2016 Olympics bid with a backup 500 million U.S. dollars.

The council voted 45-5 in favor of the guarantee sought by Mayor Richard Daley, who previously has said no taxpayer money would be used for the Olympics.

But Adlerman Toni Preckwinkle, who represents the South Side ward where the Olympic Village would be built, voted against the measure, saying the city's 2016 committee had not been inclusive or operated in a transparent manner.

Preckwinkle said she was troubled that talk of a 500 million dollar guarantee did not come out until after last month's city election.

USOC officials told city organizers during an inspection visit that they want the government to "have some skin in the game" to please the International Olympic Committee. But Chicago officials have said the likelihood that taxpayer money would be used still is slim.

Chicago is competing with Los Angeles to bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics, and the United States Olympic Committee will choose on April 14. The International Olympic Committee won't pick a host city until 2009; other bidders are expected to include Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Rome and Tokyo.