Monday, January 23, 2012

Olympic Dreams and Stadiums

When Chicago was vying for the 2016 Summer Olympic bid, a new Olympic Stadium would have been needed because Soldier Field does not have the required capacity. Obviously, a great deal of additioinal construction and infrastructure improvements would also have been needed. There is a plethora of reasons that various writers and reporters have put forward as to why Chicago didn’t get the bid.

Many locals wonder how it ever would have been sorted out had Chicago won.
Frankly, little of the Olympic building would have been easy in this city of big shoulders and complex politics. According to the proposed plan, the stadium would have been built in Washington Park. Other major construction projects would have also been required in well established areas. Making huge changes to an old established city like Chicago would be a great challenge especially in a time of belt tightening and divided politics. Perhaps it would have been more doable had Chicago a more modern transit system and an Olympic-sized stadium already in place.


Politics did not stop the Brits in a city that is quite a bit older than Chicago. For the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the London Olympic Stadium was constructed in a city that already boasts Wembley (Borough of Brent, London). The stadium was built in an ecologically friendly way. It was made 75 per cent lighter in terms of steel use than other stadiums; it features low-carbon concrete, made from industrial waste; and the top ring of the Stadium was built using surplus gas pipes. The Olympic Stadium is located on an island site, surrounded by waterways on three sides so that spectators will use bridges to get to the venue. The Stadium will have a capacity of 80,000 during the Games. Its upper tier can be removed creating a much small stadium capacity for post Olympic use.


In the winning 2016 venue of Rio De Janeiro, the MaracanĂ£ Stadium will be the venue for Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Originally constructed in 1950 for the FIFA World Cup, MaracanĂ£ and its surrounding area are being completely upgraded for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in advance of the 2016 Games. So essentially they have to be in place two years before the Olympics. Gross seating capacity at the games is 90,000 according to the official Rio Olympic site.
Sporting Chance Press is the publisher of Patrick McCaskey's Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout and other fine sports books. Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout is a personal chronicle of Chicago Bears Senior Director Patrick McCaskey that looks back at decades of spiritual enrichment and life lessons from athletes, coaches, religious and everyday people. McCaskey recalls the stories of those who strived to make the cut on and off the field—plus people who left comfortable lives to serve the under-served in extraordinary ways.

 Update: Sporting Chance Press's Pillars of the NFL: Coaches Who Have Won Three or More Championships by Patrick McCaskey now available--March 2014!  Order your copies here  for immediate shipment.