By Mark Memmott
Chicago and the other three cities vying to host the 2016 Summer Olympics all could handle the Games, but "there are risks and opportunities to each project," the International Olympics Committee says in a report it just posted online.
It praises the "quality of all four candidates." But as with any such evaluation, the report also points to some problems.
Chicago's competition comes from Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. Regarding the Windy City, the IOC has some concerns:
-- "Emphasis on major temporary or scaled down venues increases the risk to the OCOG (Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games) in regard to the planning, costing and delivery of the venues."
-- "Transport efficiency" could be a major challenge. Translation: Getting around Chicago could be difficult during the Games.
-- "A clearer delineation of roles and responsibilities between the city and the OCOG would be required to ensure that the OCOG would not be overburdened operationally and financially."
-- "Chicago would need an extensive sponsorship program to generate $1.83 billion in revenue." The budget is "ambitious but achievable."
-- "Chicago 2016 has not provided a full guarantee covering a potential economic shortfall of the OCOG, as requested by the IOC."
The IOC is scheduled to select the 2016 host city on Oct. 2.
Update at 10:30 a.m. ET. NPR's Howard Berkes has filed a report. He says that the "glaring" difference between the cities is what the IOC says about the lack of a financial guarantee from the Chicago organizers: