By: John Pletz June 08, 2009
(Crain’s) — Chicago widened its lead against its rivals for the 2016 Olympic Games in an index compiled by Around the Rings, an influential Web site that tracks the business of the games.
The city scored 80 out of 110 points in the latest ranking published by Ed Hula, editor of the Atlanta-based site. Madrid jumped into the No. 2 slot with a score of 78, ahead of Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo, which both scored 76.
Chicago scored 77 in the previous assessment, in September 2008, just one point ahead of the other three cities at 76. It’s the first ranking by Around the Rings since visits to each city by an International Olympic Committee evaluation team in April.
“Chicago was first out of the gate and showed they were a strong candidate,” Mr. Hula says. “It’s still a close race. Madrid showed its strengths real well and why it can’t be discounted: their facilities, venues and the way the city works.”
Chicago improved its marks in legacy, marketing, public support and bid operation. Madrid rose in bid operation, marketing and accommodation.
Rio’s scores dropped in accommodation, games cost and transportation but saw improvements in security and public support.
Tokyo saw its marks drop for marketing, games cost and ambience but improve for security, transportation and accommodation.
Representatives for the four cities will be in Lausanne, Switzerland, next week to meet with IOC members in the last presentation before the committee votes in October to award the games.http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=34327&seenIt=1