Let the games end!

Fri, Mar 13, 2009


The U.S. Olympic Committee/city/LandCo drama continues, with no end in sight – or if there is, the principal players aren’t talking. 

We don’t know whether the Mayor Lionel Rivera’s clandestine fundraising campaign to prop up the deal continues (to read the letter in its entirety, click here), or whether the USA Boxing still wants a $3 million purse to stay in town (to read the letter from USA Boxing to the mayor, click here), or whether LandCo can raise the $16 million required to make the deal work, or whether El Pomar is ready to drain its treasury and take over as principal funder or whether a Deus ex Machina will descend from above (The USOC supplemental stimulus bill, maybe?).

Here’s what we do know.  The deal has a fuse.  If it’s not done by the end of this month, it might never happen.  We also know that the USOC has an exit strategy.

It’s not clear whether Jim Scherr’s abrupt exit is in any way linked to the deal, but it is clear that the new leadership at USOC is less committed to the well-being, comfort and morale of the staff, and more committed to organizational survival.  If, come October, Chicago gets the nod to host the 2016 Olympics, you can expect to see the de facto departure of most of the USOC to Chicago. 

Some support staff will remain here, as of course will the Olympic Training Center, but the real USOC will be headquartered in a real city, where senior executives can more easily interact with sponsors. 

In the end, the USOC is a big, quasi-international business – kind of like, say, Citigroup on a much smaller scale.  And, like all such businesses, they have dragons to slay and mountains to climb.

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Lon Matejczyk Says:

    According to Crains Chicago Business, Chicago’s Metra transit systsem is already planning to borrow extra trains from other cities for the olympics:

  2. John Whitten Says:

    The rumor on the street is that your friend and mine Ray Marshall and LandCO (Real Estate Advisor to the Stars!!) has filed BK… Probably just an ugly vicious rumor, but certainly something plausible.

    This comes on the heels of Adams Bank and Trust moving out of his mining building, because they didn’t want to pay the rent increase he proposed. But, I guess in Ray’s mind, having nothing is better than having something…..

    I assume we can expect a followup letter from MayorLionel asking for more $$ for boxing, although the USA Boxing logo isn’t quite as sexy as having those Olympic rings on your official business cards….

    I’ve also noticed that Jerry Heimlichmanuver has quit taking credit for being part of the Olympic deal…who says he isn’t politically astute (or is it asstoot?)? Anyway, I’m sure he’s feeling pretty smug knowing his opponent appears to be a refugee from no growth Boulder, although I think Gardner is pretty smart and has some thoughtful ideas….. unfortunately, a voice in the wilderness, for the time being.

    It appears the city may have it backwards: Why not sell the parking franchise and keep the hospital?
    At least there’d be a reasonable chance people would visit the latter after hours……..