When is the decision?
On Friday. Voting in Copenhagen begins at 5 p.m. -- that's 10 a.m. in Chicago. If Chicago is eliminated in one of the early rounds of voting, we'll learn then. But if it's one of the final contenders, word won't come out until the announcement ceremony, scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to noon Chicago time.
How will the decision be made?
For the first time, there are no IOC meetings in the days leading up to the vote just an opening ceremony. That means less chance for host city finalists to lobby. Most IOC members won't arrive until the day before the vote.
On Friday, the voting process in Copenhagen will work like this:
*In an expected three rounds of voting, the 106 eligible members vote secretly by pressing numbered buttons (one for each candidate) on machines.
Members in a country with a candidate cannot vote until that city is eliminated. That means there will be 99 eligible voters in the first round, since Brazil, Japan and the United States each has two IOC members, while Spain has one.
*Until one candidate gets a majority of the votes, the lowest vote-getter in each round is eliminated. That is announced publicly before the next round of voting. Not since the vote for the 1988 Olympics, when winner Seoul vied with Nagoya, Japan, has a Summer Games ballot lasted only one round.
*The process happens so quickly it is nearly impossible between rounds for any lobbying to occur. Bid committees have no contact with the voters, and even those IOC members also on bid committees have no time to lobby. Candidate cities already have lobbied to become the second choice of some IOC members known to favor a rival.
Before the voting begins, each city will tell its story for the final time in 45-minute presentations with another 15 minutes for IOC members' questions the morning and afternoon of the vote.
In an order determined by drawing lots last year, Chicago goes first, followed by Tokyo and Rio before the members' lunch break. Madrid's presentation comes after lunch in Copenhagen. The vote follows Madrid's presentation.
Want to learn more? Olympic correspondent Philip Hersh wrote about it.
Where can I watch?
Daley Plaza downtown, where the official Chicago 2016 party at Washington and LaSalle streets will begin at 9 a.m. And there are also a number of places around Chicago and the suburbs. Among them:
-- Rufino Tamayo Charter School on Southwest Side: This school run by UNO (United Neighborhood Organization) at 5135 S. California Ave., will hold a viewing party starting at 10:30 a.m. The event will include a message by UNO Charter School Network President Juan Rangel broadcast from Copenhagen. Rangel served on the Chicago 2016 Outreach Committee.
-- Washington Park on South Side: A group of aldermen is sponsoring an "Olympic Watch" in Washington Park, proposed site of the temporary Olympic Stadium. The UniverSoul Circus will conduct its normal morning show from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the big top, and as the decision nears, the circus acts will pause and spectators will watch JumboTrons.
-- Downtown Naperville: A Naperville Backs the Bid street festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. along Chicago Avenue between Main and Washington streets. The fest will include music and dancing.
-- Concordia University Chicago in River Forest: A viewing party will start at 10:30 a.m. in the north Geiseman Gymnasium, 7400 Augusta St.
-- Silver Cross Field in Joliet: The Joliet JackHammers will open the gates to the stadium at 11 a.m. for the announcement live on the JumboTron. Admission is free. Hot dogs, chips, sodas and cookies will be available for sale.
-- John G. Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. Doors open at 9 a.m., and the announcement will be carried live at 11:30 a.m., Chicago time. Regular admission applies, except for children ages 3-11 who wear Olympic gear or dress up like an Olympic athlete. They get free general admission.
-- Adler Planetarium, 1300 South Lake Shore Dr., Chicago. Doors open at 10 a.m., and they'll be showing live coverage of the announcement in the Adler's CyberSpace Gallery downstairs for all visitors and staff who want to watch. They'll also make an announcement in the museum when the decision is reached, just before noon. Regular admission applies.
If you prefer to eat and drink while you wait, Olympics watchers are gathering at 11 a.m. Friday at Park 52, 5201 S. Harper Ave. in Hyde Park--or on the Gold Coast at Timothy O'Toole's, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., where doors will open at 10 a.m.
Raven's at 2326 N. Clark St. in Lincoln Park is having an all-nighter, beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday and continuing until 4 a.m. Friday. They'll reopen around 11:30 a.m. Friday with drink specials.
TV AND NEWS COVERAGE:
You'll have to stay up late or get up early to watch Chicago's final presentation to IOC live. It starts around 1:30 a.m., with coverage by Channels 2, 5, 7, 9 and 32.
All the local channels will carry the host city selection announcement just before noon, but they'll start their coverage at various times before the decision, beginning with Channel 32, which will have continuous coverage from 5 a.m. till the announcement and beyond. Channels 2 and 5 and CLTV will start at 9 a.m., with Channels 7 and 9 starting at 10 a.m. wgntv.com will live-stream the presentations and announcement.
And of course, you can follow along right here (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chicagoolympics/) at chicagotribune.com, where there will be links to streaming video, photos and live-blogging from Copenhagen and around Chicago, and a full spectrum of context, analysis and breaking news on the subject..I'm a Chicago ex-pat living in Denmark. Where can I join other Chicagoans supporting the city's bid here?In addition to the media and closed IOC events, the Chicago 2016 committee is hosting a final soiree in Copenhagen as a decision nears.
The Chicago 2016 Host City Announcement Party for supporters, Olympians, Paralympians and staff will gather at Axelborg to watch the live broadcast of the IOC's announcement on Friday, October 2 at 5 p.m., Copenhagen time, which is 10 a.m. in Chicago: Axelborg, Vesterbrogade 4A - 1620 København V.(Or, television and the Internet.)
Who is presenting Chicago's case?
The other presenters have not been announced, but Mayor Richard Daley and Chicago 2016 chairman Patrick Ryan are considered likely to speak. So is track-and-field legend Edwin Moses. Media mogul Oprah Winfrey is part of the delegation, but is not believed likely to give an official speech to the IOC.
The full team is here.
Is Michael Jordan going?
Chicago 2016 Chairman Patrick Ryan said on Sept. 9 that he does not expect former Bulls star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Jordan to be part of the city's Olympic bid delegation in Copenhagen.
"I have no reason to believe he will be there," Ryan told the Tribune, but added: "We haven't given up on it. He hasn't said no to us yet."
Because Jordan is disinclined to make such appearances, Chicago 2016 has not been counting on his presence in the final run-up to the Oct. 2 vote by the International Olympic Committee on the host city for the 2016 Games.
Jordan did not attend the recent U.S. Olympic Committee Hall of Fame dinner, a fundraiser for Chicago 2016. Jordan has made some videos in support of Chicago's bid.
A spokesperson for Jordan could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.
What are the dates of the 2016 Summer Olympics?
It varies by host city finalist to take advantage of the local climate. If Chicago is chosen, the games would be held from July 22 to Aug. 7, with the Paralympics held between Aug. 12 and Aug. 28. Prospective Madrid games would be held between Aug. 5 and Aug. 21, with the Paralympics between Sept. 9 and Sept. 20.
If Rio is chosen, proposed dates range from Aug. 5 to 21 for the Summer Olympics, and Sept. 7 to 18 for the Paralympics. Tokyo's dates would be between July 29 and Aug. 14, with Paralympics held between Aug. 31 and Sept. 11.
What would the Olympics cost Chicago taxpayers -- or any U.S. taxpayers, for that matter?
The range of taxpayer-linked costs includes everything from a new breakwater for Monroe Harbor to infrastructure for the proposed Olympic Village to security and shuttle buses for the Games. Added up, those costs run in excess of $2.1 billion.
The Chicago 2016 bid committee says much of that would be picked up by federal taxpayers, not local ones, in the form of national security and transportation costs. But the city of Chicago has agreed to sign an agreement taking full responsibility for any costs not covered elsewhere. The Chicago bid committee says taxpayers have a reasonable cushion because of an elaborate insurance package financed by private donations. But in the end, the taxpayers would be on the hook for any huge cost overruns. Chicago's Olympic boosters point to the economic success of recent Olympics held in the U.S.
A detailed breakdown of Chicago taxpayer obligations is here.
How does Chicago hope to win?
Some think Rio is the emotional favorite because no Olympics has ever been held in South America. So look for Chicago to get emotional, too. First Lady Michelle Obama said Monday that she vividly recalled watching the Olympics as a child and was inspired by gymnast Nadia Comaneci. And in some ways President Barack Obama embodies the kind of globalism that the Olympic movement aims to foster. Obama's parents came from two continents (Africa and North America), and he spent part of his childhood in a third continent (Asia). Look for the Obama biography -- which played quite well with the U.S. electorate last November -- to be marketed toward the IOC as well.
For more on Chicago's expected pitch (though written before the president declared he was going to Copenhagen) see this.
This FAQ was written by Tribune reporter James Janega, based on information from a team of Tribune reporters. Do you have other questions? Send them to us, and Janega will attempt to answer the best.