Hi Mayors --If you get stuck on "CHECKING FOR UPDATES" you should delete all files in your User Data.
If you have a desktop shortcut you can right click the icon and select PROPERTIES then delete all files in the User Data folder.
If you launch through Origin go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\SimCity\SimCityUserData and delete all files in the User Data folder.
Then run the game again and you should get past that screen.
Note: The recovery tool will not resolve this issue, so please use the directions above.
Here's how to check server status for Xbox LIVE, PlayStation™Network, and PC on our help site.
Try these steps first to clear up any problems you may have when connecting to an EA game.