On October 2, the City of Chicago will appear before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and plead its case to host the 2016 Olympic games. They are competing against Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo. In the past, Detroit also appeared before the IOC, and bid for the 1944, 1952, 1956, 1960 and 1968 Olympics. While we lost each bid, we moved on to enhance a number of buildings throughout the city, including many of those at Wayne State University.
While Detroit competes to restore its public image, we should work with Chicago to support their bid to win the right to host the 2016 Olympics. If they win, we win. While hotels along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and along their Lakeshore Drive will sell out, there is a good chance that Detroit and the State of Michigan will reap some benefit. For example, while Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports may be crowded, some travelers, including those on Delta/Northwest, may just choose to fly-in to Detroit Metro, rent-a-car and perhaps check out our region’s cultural, culinary and athletic treasures. We could also host a number of Olympic delegations, as they need a place to train and get acclimated to the time changes and American culture. Facilities at any of our state’s universities not to mention our diverse topography make Michigan a great place to train and prepare for the Olympics in 2016.
Chicago has a lot to gain economically from hosting the Olympics. Studies show the Games could generate $13.7 billion in economic activity from 2011-2021. But Detroit and the State of Michigan also have a lot to gain. It is our chance to be a co-host, along America’s North Coast, and welcome the world to the region and to the Great Lakes. So let’s support our neighbor to the west. We often compare ourselves to the Windy City as a place we would like to be. So for now, let’s offer our support and resources to win the games, not just for Chicago and the Great Lakes but also for the United States of America.