In advance of the formal submission of its 233-page bid book to the President of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) in Mexico Thursday – Toronto has released its plan to organize the 2015 Pan Am Games.
The single volume book, complete with a slip-cover, is decorated in red and white and emblazoned with a gold medal and the slogan “Your moment is here”. Inside are detailed site and venue plans, schedules, financials and a vision for the city that will cost taxpayers USD $2.12 billion.
Broken down, operating expenses are estimated at $566 million and capital costs (including 64 venues and a legacy fund) will amount to $556 million. The balance includes $785 million earmarked for the Pan American Athletes’ Village.
“Toronto gets it” commented Michael Chambers, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee while reflecting on member reactions at a meeting of the South American Sports Organization last week.
He said that Toronto’s bid hits the three key elements that voters are looking for: an accommodating athletes’ village, world class competition venues and an efficient transportation plan.
“This is a winnable bid”, he said.
But bid Chair David Peterson was more cautious as he emphasized that hard work lies ahead.
“I take nothing for granted; smugness is our enemy” he warned.
He described the voting as a political process – one where the best bid doesn’t always win. Votes are often cast based on “blood relationships” and “friendships”.
Bogota, Colombia and Lima, Peru are also bidding for the Games.
“They are improving their game … they are not fooling around”, said Peterson.
He admitted that they could make a case that the Games will be more transformational for them.
Originally planned for April 30, the formal submission deadline for the bid book to PASO was delayed until June 1 due to the H1N1 influenza outbreak in Mexico. The 42 member countries will cast 52 votes when they elect the winner in November in Guadalajara.