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I said back then we had dodged a bullet....

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  • I said back then we had dodged a bullet....

    Back in 2009, it was the first of a long, LONG string of humiliating defeats for Barack Obama when he was flat-out told "no" by the IOC for hosting the Olympics in Chicago. As I've said many times before, the Olympics is more often than not a losing deal for the host city, if not the host nation. While the numbers aren't in yet regarding Sochi as far as I know, I cannot imagine that the Olympics there was anything but a black hole into which rubles were bulldozed to stroke Vladimir Putin's ego. The last figure I remember seeing was fifty-one BILLION dollars that were shoved into that place in order to get a bunch of hotels that didn't work and public facilities that became a source of worldwide ridicule. Yes, they were able to fix a lot of it before the games ended, but with years to prepare for this, they definitely should have been able to get toilets that flush properly.

    So, a Chicago Olympics was a fantastically bad idea to begin with. The first question is: where on earth are they going to put an Olympic village in metro Chicago? Either it has to be way out of town (where mass-transportation infrastructure is presently pretty thin), or else it has to be put on top of existing relatively low-cost (and undesirable) real estate, meaning the Southside, which is going to be politically impossible: you can bet your ass that Jesse Jackson is not about to turn over his death-grip on the prison that is the slums around the Rainbow/PUSH headquarters. Then they have to come up with infrastructure that works, and that's not going to happen in most cases: these people are not going to accept having yet another set of L tracks running through the neighborhood, and the overwhelming majority of the L already is over capacity at peak hours already. Same goes for Metra services. And then you have to have a place to put tens of thousands of fans. Not too many hotels on the Southside, and Hilton isn't going to start building them for a one-off event; no one is going to want to stay in the Hilton Chicago - The Hood after the Olympics are over. So, you have to house all of those people in and around the Loop. Good luck with a 25-minute (at best; an hour or more is more realistic) commute for all those people between their hotels and the events.

    And then there's the fact that Chicago (and Illinois) is beyond broke. They can't possibly afford the cost to build an Olympic village, no matter how low the cost.

    Enough about Chicago. It won't work. It will never work. And we (the United States) were lucky that they didn't win.



    And now, it seems even more fortuitous:
    Building has yet to start and the project is so far behind schedule that soldiers who live at the base have not even heard of it. “Olympics? No, not here – you must have got the wrong place,” shouts one soldier out of his truck, looking in bemusement at his colleagues.

    Brazil has endured some well-publicised struggles to get ready for the football World Cup this June, but an even bigger crisis is emerging over Rio’s lack of preparation for the 2016 Olympics.

    [....]

    In 2009, when Rio won the bid to become the first South American city to host the Olympics, the IOC’s decision was celebrated as a coming-of-age moment – proof of the country’s new status on the world stage. Only two years earlier, Brazil had been named the host nation for the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

    However, a string of delays and growing resentment among Brazilians over the cost of these sporting extravaganzas have turned them into a lightning rod for protests at home – and a focus for those abroad on the country’s institutional weaknesses. Overspending on the World Cup was one of the many causes of the mass protests that erupted across the country last June.

    Although hosting the Olympics should be easier than the World Cup – it involves only one city rather than 12 – it may in fact prove more problematic, says Rafael Alcadipani, a professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, an academic institution.

    “Just as Brazil’s attention turns to the Olympics, all the scandals and the full cost of the World Cup will start to become public,” he says. “There will already be revulsion over how much was spent on the stadiums and we will have to spend more on the Olympics, so it could be an even more difficult situation,” says Mr Alcadipani.

    This week Rio announced the games will cost just over R$36bn ($16bn), up from an initial estimate of R$28bn, although part of this will be paid for by the private sector. But Brazil’s economic outlook has changed drastically since the country won the Olympics bid. After expanding at a rate of 7.5 per cent in 2010, it is expected to grow less than the UK and the US this year.

    “Hosting this type of mega event just doesn’t make much sense any more,” said Mr Alcadipani.

    [....]

    The root problem is an old one in Brazil – a cultural lack of forward planning, made worse by labyrinthine bureaucracy and the complex structure of government.

    The government’s Clean Guanabara Plan, which brings together 12 previous initiatives to clean 80 per cent of the bay by 2016, was only announced last year.

    Similarly, Rio’s municipal government was only put in charge of the Deodoro development project in November after it was passed down from the state government, which initially took it over from the federal government.

    The construction work was finally put out to tender on April 17 and will begin before December – more than five years since Rio won the bid to host the Olympics.

    Strikes by workers at Rio’s main Olympic Park and a lack of qualified labour have created more delays.

    Construction companies are also likely to take advantage of these inefficiencies, stalling further in the hope of charging higher rates for emergency contracts, says Prof Alcadipani. “It is not in any of their interests to deliver a project on time,” he says.

    Brazil, of course, is one of the many victims of The Great Green Energy Hoax™, just like Spain and to a great degree the United States. The Global Warming Alarmist Cult convinced the good people of these nations that their fortunes would abound if only they got on the mythical unicorn monorail of of the "green energy revolution," which fizzled pretty much immediately when everyone figured out that it was just a tremendous fleece-job by the very same Global Warming Alarmist Cult to line the pockets of the politically powerful members of the cult, people like Al Gore and Tom Steyer, with taxpayer money. And now that the jig is up, Brazil is back in the shitter economically. Of course, no sane person had any genuine belief that a Marxist radical convicted murderer and bank robber was actually going to pull Brazil out of the ditch, but the voters there thought this communist would be so much better than the previous communists had been. Then their beloved Marxist state raised the price of bus fare by a dime, and deadly riots ensued.

    So, don't be counting on a grand Olympics, or World Cup, in Brazil. The tactile construction has barely even started on both, and all the workers are on strike.




    BUT! I propose a solution, one that works out well for everyone involved. And if it's implemented quickly enough, it might just work.


    Make Detroit the site of the 2016 Olympics.


    No, really. You can stop laughing now. I'm serious.


    Make Detroit the site of the 2016 Olympics and privatize the whole thing. Have private investors buy and build these places, in conjunction with an investment in the city. The Singer Sewing Track Facility? It comes with Singer Sewing moving either a manufacturing facility or a corporate headquarters to Detroit. The company in question gets licensing rights in perpetuity for the facility, and they pay market price for the land upon which they build the facility. In return, they get a manufacturing or corporate property of appropriate size gratis from the city from their pick of condemned locations; they may either renovate an abandoned factory or they can bulldoze it and start over. AND, all senior management must live within the core city limits of Detroit (no hiding out in Grosse Pointe), and the city will let any worker at one of these facilities or those who are involved in the construction of either Olympic facilities or new/renovated company facilities may take over a condemned property gratis, provided that they bring said property up to code and reside in that property.

    If I were Remington, I would jump at the chance to have the naming rights to the Remington Pistol Range at Detroit Olympic Park (for penathalon) and to build a factory on free land, replete with people looking for work. MGM would find it wise to build an MGM Boxing Event Center along with a casino. You get the idea. The opportunity for branding here is huge.

    The city gets to issue bonds to pay for infrastructure improvements, but those bonds may only be bought or held by the corporate entities involved for a period of ten years from the date of sale. Those bonds can then be used to finance an actually surprisingly small amount of necessary infrastructure improvements.

    There is already an existing twin-track rail line that leads from immediately next to the existing, and recently-built, Wayne County airport; all that is necessary is a short spur line into the airport proper to connect the airport with the existing train station, which is halfway through renovation already, but stalled due to a lack of funding. There is existing passenger rail service between Detroit and Chicago, and still-serviceable track between Detroit and points south and east: workable track down to Toledo and thus points east and a working tunnel between the old train station and Windsor. One of the biggest costs in railroad and other mass-transit construction is land acquisition, so since this land is already acquired, those costs are gone. The only costs are those to construct passenger rail stations, track improvements, and operating costs of the railroad itself, which can easily be paid for my tourists coming to the games.

    In between downtown Detroit and the airport is a TON of vacant land and condemned houses in a crime-riddled hellhole that manages to actually be worse than the rest of Detroit. Certainly ripe for bulldozing and starting over with an Olympic village. An Olympic village with a direct rail link both to downtown Detroit and the existing modern, very functional airport.

    And for all of these jobs created by people who are actually willing to and want to work, Brazil doesn't have to keep throwing billions of real at something that they're never, ever going to complete in time or satisfactorily. They're off the hook for something they never should have gotten into in the first place.


    And to save the Olympics from themselves, Detroit agrees to accept $250M from the IOC, letting the rest of the US taxpayers off the hook, to shore up their pension fund temporarily. Since the city (and other taxpayers outside the city) will pay almost all of the overall costs, the city should get quite a tax boon from the events, unlike others in the past. In return, the IOC never sets foot inside Wayne County until the start of the games.


    And there's a specific legal requirement that those involved in the construction will not go on strike, from suppliers to electricians to pipe-fitters to iron workers right down to janitors and people working the concession stands will not go on strike, no matter what, during the time from the signing of the contract to the conclusion of the games. If you're working on the Olympics, you'll get a fair wage and likely a lot of overtime, fair work rules per OSHA, but if you go on strike, it will be a felony.


    Workers who got ludicrous pension promises get saved. The taxpayer gets saved. The Olympic games get saved. Detroit gets re-built, and gets new worker blood in the place as well as new investment and infrastructure.

    It's a win-win-win for everyone involved.

    Which of course means that it will never happen.
    Last edited by Adam; Saturday, April 19, 2014, 9:56 PM.
    It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
    In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
    Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
    Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

  • #2
    Why Detroit? Nobody wants to live there (obviously). I say do it in Deland, FL. It's a win-win for all parties. It's a developed area near an environmentally important ecosystem, it's a place people actually want to live, the infrastructure is excellent, and the Olympics would be the excuse for the greenies to get their trains while making the businesses pay for it. There are no ghettoes that need to be bulldozed so we don't have to worry about the same issues as Atlanta, there's not much there now so it won't disrupt commerce (again, Atlanta), and Florida just flat understands tourism.

    I like all the other ideas, and Florida is stepping up efforts to draw manufacturing.
    "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."
    -John Locke

    "It's all been melded together into one giant, authoritarian, leftist scream."
    -Newman

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by scott View Post
      Why Detroit? Nobody wants to live there (obviously). I say do it in Deland, FL. It's a win-win for all parties. It's a developed area near an environmentally important ecosystem, it's a place people actually want to live, the infrastructure is excellent, and the Olympics would be the excuse for the greenies to get their trains while making the businesses pay for it. There are no ghettoes that need to be bulldozed so we don't have to worry about the same issues as Atlanta, there's not much there now so it won't disrupt commerce (again, Atlanta), and Florida just flat understands tourism.

      I like all the other ideas, and Florida is stepping up efforts to draw manufacturing.
      The question sort of answers itself in your own points. If there's any place in the United States that needs a bunch of slums flattened, it's Detroit. Also, I'd like to believe that Detroit might manage to get hungry for success again. Florida already has that success. And it isn't hurting the way Detroit is.

      And, Detroit already has the airport to handle the international traffic (and already does). Yes, I know that MCO is a major airport, and SFB takes in a bunch of international charter traffic. DTW already has regular traffic from four other continents, and it was specifically built (at Northwest's direction) to handle considerably more than it already does. Ergo, they are already prepared for a tremendous influx of people, whereas MCO and SFB are already a lot closer to capacity.

      Besides, no one wants to go watch shot put or javelin while baking under a 95° sun where it rains at 3:00 every afternoon.



      More seriously, it's just an idea to save more than one place with a single fell swoop. Florida, even DeLand, doesn't need "saving." Detroit does. It's admittedly a crazy idea, but it seems a lot less crazy in the context of Rio, workers on strike before construction has even started, a Marxist loon for a president, and a place where "public transit" means trying to see how many people can be carried upon a single Vespa. Rio is a disaster for the Olympics, and the Olympics are a disaster for Rio. It's well-past time to consider pulling out for both parties, and I have little doubt that the IOC, at least, is already thinking just that. It would seem that the people of Brazil are thinking the same, based upon the article.
      It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
      In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
      Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
      Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Adam View Post
        The question sort of answers itself in your own points. If there's any place in the United States that needs a bunch of slums flattened, it's Detroit. Also, I'd like to believe that Detroit might manage to get hungry for success again. Florida already has that success. And it isn't hurting the way Detroit is.

        And, Detroit already has the airport to handle the international traffic (and already does). Yes, I know that MCO is a major airport, and SFB takes in a bunch of international charter traffic. DTW already has regular traffic from four other continents, and it was specifically built (at Northwest's direction) to handle considerably more than it already does. Ergo, they are already prepared for a tremendous influx of people, whereas MCO and SFB are already a lot closer to capacity.

        Besides, no one wants to go watch shot put or javelin while baking under a 95° sun where it rains at 3:00 every afternoon.



        More seriously, it's just an idea to save more than one place with a single fell swoop. Florida, even DeLand, doesn't need "saving." Detroit does. It's admittedly a crazy idea, but it seems a lot less crazy in the context of Rio, workers on strike before construction has even started, a Marxist loon for a president, and a place where "public transit" means trying to see how many people can be carried upon a single Vespa. Rio is a disaster for the Olympics, and the Olympics are a disaster for Rio. It's well-past time to consider pulling out for both parties, and I have little doubt that the IOC, at least, is already thinking just that. It would seem that the people of Brazil are thinking the same, based upon the article.
        The only reason Rio is so corrupt compared to Sochi is because nobody from Detroit has shown them how to really do it. Detroit needs to be reduced to rust so that at least it can be mined for minerals in 1000 years. There's no use in "saving" Detroit. It's been saved a few times and yet somehow still can't be sustained.
        "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."
        -John Locke

        "It's all been melded together into one giant, authoritarian, leftist scream."
        -Newman

        Comment


        • #5
          I understand that there is value which cannot be measured in dollars, but dollars are what makes and breaks cities and events.

          They can lie about it all they want but the Superbowl was not good for Tampa. The Republican Convention was not good for Tampa. The Olympics would not be good for Tampa. Why? Because all of these events are governed by people who want to take money away from the host cities. Compare that to Mardi Gras, San Francisco Pride, or the Macy's Parade. Those three events are produced locally, use existing facilities, house visitors in existing hotels and guess accommodations, and most importantly actually profit the peripheral small businesses. The really big events are not designed to benefit the people they promise will do well from them. What the city council says happened and what small business says happened are always two different things. It would be a lot cheaper just to send the local "movers and shakers" to a big fundraiser in New York where they can schmooze with celebrities and have their picture taken instead of losing millions of dollars so the Mayor and some promoter can rub body parts with Mitt Romney or some football player.

          Anyway, the point of this was that permanent Olympic sites should be chosen and developed in the places most suitable for the events. You know, like a place where there is natural snow in winter and another place where there is warm water in summer.
          The year's at the spring
          And day's at the morn;
          Morning's at seven;
          The hill-side's dew-pearled;
          The lark's on the wing;
          The snail's on the thorn:
          God's in his heaven—
          All's right with the world!

          Comment

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