In a major surprise, Chicago’s bid to land the 2016 Olympic Games ended in the first round of the International Olympic Committee’s voting.
Tokyo also has been eliminated.
Rio de Janeiro and Madrid remain, with Rio projected as the favorite. The Olympic Games have never been held in South America, and Rio will also play host to the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament.
The winning bid announcement is expected to be made at 11:57 a.m. Central Time and will be broadcast live at an event in Daley Plaza.
Reaction to the news of Chicago’s loss was met with stunned disbelief by people attending the rally at the Plaza. Some chants of “4, 4, 4” — Chicago’s finish — were heard.
Chicago’s presentation relied heavily on the location of its venues and presentations by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Some observers covering the presentations in Copenhagen tweeted that Chicago’s presentation was disjointed and wasn’t on message.
Interviews with attendees at Daley Plaza showed some thought the president’s didn’t have a big impact on the vote. Others said many in the community did not want the Olympics in Chicago, anyway. A Chicago Tribune/WGN poll last month showed that the city was split in its support of the bid.
On DePaul’s campus, student Matt Trinidad of Uptown said: “While it would have been awesome to have the Olympics in the city I really don’t think we’re up to code on transportation to host such a large event. We couldn’t even handle Loop-topia when they ran it for a night.”
The IOC walked away from a big payday by snubbing Chicago. According to Charles Besser, CEO of Intersport, a sports TV marketing and media company, TV rights to the 2016 Olympics would be valued at $400 million to $500 million more than if the Games were held in another country. Besser shared these statistics at DePaul’s McCormick Foundation Specialized Reporting Institute on the 2016 Olympics last month.
Voting is done by secret ballot, but the IOC shares the results on this live video stream.