Toronto 2015 To Unveil Pan Am Bid Plan Shortly

Jagoda Pike, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games, told the Toronto Sun Wednesday that the bid committee will be unveiling venues for the Pan Am’s shortly.

She said, “we’re not all the way yet. We’re close…a couple of weeks away from being able to unveil most, if not all, of the plan”.

While not being specific Pike said, “I think a very poorly kept secret is that potentially we’d be thrilled to have the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at the Rogers Centre. We want to use the key venues in town like the Air Canada Centre and BMO Field. Those are all key landmarks”.

The Toronto Sun said this would suggest that Toronto will be the site of at least some of the soccer and baseball tournaments.

While the bid is called Toronto 2015, the Golden Horseshoe region of the province of Ontario is also included. Pike said, “it is a Golden Horseshoe bid but Toronto certainly is the international face of this bid. It is a key part of it and I think you’ll see some good developments for Toronto when we’re ready to talk about it. (Until then) it will be fun to speculate”.

According to the Toronto Sun, Pan American Sports Organization president Mario Vasquez Rena has indicated to insiders he would be pleased to bring the Games back to North America.

Pike said there have been numerous proposals from communities to host events, in fact too many. “It’s been tough in the sense that you have a lot of municipalities that want to participate and a lot of communities which want to benefit from the bid. The hard part has been prioritizing because there isn’t enough money to go around to do all the things everybody would like to do”.

Toronto has two Olympic pools that need upgrading and there is no international track facility, no velodrome, and no adequate facility for gymnastics, while the city of Hamilton would like a new stadium to replace aging Ivor Wynne stadium, and Caledon would like to implement plans for soccer facilities.

Pike said, “we have to be disciplined about what to build and what not to build, and, if we build where to built it. We’re close (to identifying) where each of the sports will be hosted. Then obviously, we will identify what will be in existing facilities and what will be built”.

Meanwhile some facilities will be utilized to reduce costs. Athletes will be housed at the University of Toronto to avoid building an Olympic-style village.

The Toronto 2015 bid committee must submit its official bid plan by January 31 and a host city is expected to be selected this fall. Lima, Peru, Bogota, Colombia and Caracus, Venezuela are also bidding but the past two Pan Am Games have been in Latin America and the 2011 Games are being held in Guadalajara, Mexico.