By Rachel Lippmann, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – The committee spearheading Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Games says the St. Louis metropolitan area has a role to play in a successful event.
Chicago 2016 chairman and CEO Pat Ryan was in St. Louis Monday to update regional leaders on the progress of the city's bid. The committee is looking at several Midwestern cities to serve as training bases for national teams, and St. Louis is also a possible location for preliminary Olympic soccer rounds.
Ryan has spoken of a "compact" Olympics that would keep most venues within 15 minutes of the Olympic Village, planned for the Chicago lakefront. But he says the international soccer federation wanted to spread out its games. "And one of the ways you win, among many, is to accommodate the interests of international sport federations," he said.
"The opportunity is as real as the Chicago Olympic bid," said St. Louis Sports Commission president Frank Viverito. "And so, it becomes extremely real if Chicago is awarded the games in early October. Right now, everyone's hopeful that that will happen."
The committee would not require any public money from St. Louis, Ryan said. And Viverito said there would be limited investment needed in facilities, making the cost-benefit ratio very favorable to St. Louis.
The International Olympic Committee will announce the winning city in October. Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo are also competing for the 2016 games.