I was walking along Montrose Avenue this morning when I saw someone wearing a 2016 Olympics T-shirt.
It was one of the first times I’d ever seen an ordinary citizen wearing gear promoting Chicago’s bid for the games, so I stopped to ask her why.
She said she actually didn’t know much about Mayor Daley’s bid—she hadn’t really been following the issue. She couldn’t even remember how she got the T-shirt.
There was a time when Olympic planners predicted that the sale of such merch—”Stir the soul” hats, shirts, and so forth—would help pay for the games. I don’t hear that too much anymore.
Instead, Daley and his bid committee have embarked on a big PR campaign to try to win over the skeptics and make a pitch to the people who haven’t been paying attention. Tonight I’ll be seeing the boosters in action when I attend the latest in the series of public meetings they’re holding all over town (this one’s at North Park College and starts at 5:30). I promise to listen very carefully to what they say. You never know—they might win me over. Maybe they’ve finally figured out a way to pay for this without burdening the taxpayer.