Los Angeles will not host the Summer Games in 2016, it was announced Saturday, as the U.S. Olympic Committee picked Chicago as the city to submit for international competition.
"This was a fair process," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said after Saturday's announcement. "We will work with Chicago."
Chicago will now compete among a group of world cities in submitting bids to the International Olympic Committee. Other cities expected to seek to host the games include Tokyo, Prague, Madrid, Rome and Rio de Janiero.
"It's just beginning," said Patrick Ryan, Chicago's bid committee chairman. "It's a long road."
The IOC will award the 2016 Games in October 2009.
"It was a very tough decision," USOC chairman Peter Ueberroth said before announcing the decision. "If I had all the power - and sometimes people accuse me of that - I would take the map and merge the two cities, because I'll tell you what: If you could take the mayors of these two communities and have them run our country, we would all be better off."
The USOC's 11-member board's selection of Chicago means that the Windy City will have to build major venues if it's going to be the 2016 host. Because Los Angeles had already served as host to the Olympics in 1984 and in 1932, construction of new facilities for 2016 was expected to be minimal. Ueberroth had run the 1984 Olympics, and was lauded for making them profitable.
Chicago's bid calls for construction along the city's lakefront, a revitalization plan that was a key factor in the competition and the decision. Key elements would be an 80,000-seat, $366 million temporary Olympic stadium and a $1.1 billion lakefront village that would be built near the convention center just south of downtown.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.