Chicago Wins!

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

The face-off between two cities comes to an end. Chicago wins the U-S bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Plans are now underway to build several billion dollars worth of infrastructure, including a one-point-one billion dollar lakefront village and a 366-million dollar temporary Olympic stadium. With all that activity just 60-miles away, Rockford is set to benefit as well.

"Whether that's Amtrak which is moving along really well right now but this could give it a great boost high speed commuter trains between Rockford and Chicago, maybe Madison," says John Groh of the Rockford Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

"If it means building a stadium or building a kayak park or building the roads or hotel or housing all of those things are the build up that creates the infrastructures and that's where for our region for jobs to come," says Janyce Fadden of the Rockford Area Economic and Development Council.

Chicago's Olympic plan has not included Rockford in any of the actual Olympic games. However, the athletes will need somewhere to practice.

"A kayak course or indoor or outdoor extreme sports center on the river expanding some soccer facilities things that could be beneficial to our local citizens but used for international but preliminary games things of that nature," Groh says.

Plus with hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking to the games. there's a good chance at least some will spend the night in Rockford.

There's still a long way to go before Chicago officially gets to host the Olympics. The U-S Olympic Committee now must make it's bid to the International Olympic Committee, in which Chicago is up against Madrid, Prague, Rome, Rio De Janeiro and Tokyo. But we'll have to wait until October 2009 to find out who will be the host of the Summer 2016 Olympic Games.


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