Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games Answer To Economic Crisis?

Backers of Toronto’s bid for the 2015 Pan Am Games say that because of the economic crisis, governments are more willing to open their wallets and that change of mindset should benefit them, reports the Toronto Star.

David Peterson, head of Toronto 2015 said, “we’re the solution. Everybody is talking about infrastructure. We can deliver this stuff fast”.

The Toronto Star reports the bid committee’s President and CEO, Jagoda Pike, said the games proposal fits perfectly into “the desire to invest in infrastructure, move projects quickly and build jobs as a result”.

According to the newspaper should Toronto win the bid, existing facilities would be used where available, but others would need to be built, including a velodrome, pools for swimming and diving competitions, and permanent training facilities.

“It’s about building a sustainable legacy, not a crazy legacy”, said Peterson. “Build what we need in the right places that can help little kids in the future, and also help high-performance athletes”.

Although it’s been called a Toronto bid internationally, in fact the venues would span Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe.

Although he won’t say which cities would host which sports, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies would likely be held at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, said the newspaper. And other Toronto venues would probably include the Air Canada Centre for basketball, York University a possible venue for the athletes’ village, track and field and pool, BMO field, and the trade centre at Exhibition Place.

But the newspaper reports the key question is where to put the athletes’ village. Organizers reportedly want to ensure there is proximity to competition sites, preferably through transit links.

Existing university residences could be used or a new facility would be built that could be turned into affordable houses after the Games are over.

According to the Star possible venues in the Golden Horseshoe could be in the town of Markham where pool events, judo, karate, cycling, badminton and table tennis would take place; King Township could be the site of the Equestrian centre; mountain biking could take place in the city of Barrie; the Town of Mississauga would have volleyball and team handball; Oakville would have Whitewater canoeing; three venues in the city of Hamilton would have boxing, pool events, and boxing; St. Catharines would be the venue for rowing/canoeing; the town of Vaughan would have indoor cycling; and there would be softball, archery, bowing and water skiing in Durham.

Peterson and Pike will attend meetings of the Caribbean and Central American Olympic committee’s in January to push Toronto’s bid.