There’s A Wrinkle In Ontario 2015 Pan Am Bid

While officials are pitching Ontario’s bid for the 2015 Pan American Games in Acapulco Mexico this week, there are reports that two Ontario cities may have their own competition over a prospective venue for the Pan Am Games.

The Hamilton Spectator reports that it was told by several sources that a Toronto rival is eyeing the 30,000-seat stadium the city of Hamilton wants for the Games. According to the newspaper the University of Toronto is interested in the facility for soccer and track and field.

But according to the Spectator, Pan Am Games bid president and chief operating officer Jagoda Pike, who took up the position Monday, said she had not heard about the claim.

Pike, in Acapulco for the PASO annual congress, did say several municipalities are already lobbying with her for facilities needed to stage the event.

She said the Ontario contingent has been received “very warmly” in Mexico, adding that the group, led by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, was busy renewing acquaintances and making new ones in the first step to winning the 2015 Games for southern Ontario.

According to the Spectator there’s a concern that could have consequences for the bid because of Halifax’s abrupt exit from the 2014 Commonwealth Games competition. Many of the delegates to that Games federation, all from the Caribbean, are also members of PASO and can recall the Canadian city’s withdrawal in 2007.

But Pike said Hamilton’s reputation of pushing hard, if uphill, in a failed bid for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, will stand the Golden Horseshoe Games bid in good stead.

She said, “I’ve met several people who remember that bid and know that Hamilton was very serious and wanted to win badly. This is not a Halifax situation”.