With Buenos Aires Withdrawn, Chile Looks Set To Host First Pan Am Games in 2023

Buenos Aires, Argentina cancelled its intent to bid for the 2023 Pan Am Games just days before plans were to be formalized with the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO).  The decision was made Friday by the national government and the Argentine Olympic Committee (COA).

Buenos Aires set to host 2018 Youth Olympic Games

Buenos Aires set to host 2018 Youth Olympic Games

The withdrawn bid leaves Santiago as the only applicant to host the Games in 2023 in what would be a first for Chile.  Santiago lost a bid for the 2019 Games to Lima, Peru.

Both cities confirmed their intentions to bid for the Games in February and were given an April 30 deadline to submit further information and a financial deposit.

“It is a conservative and prudent decision of which we were convinced once all the studies on the feasibility of hosting the Pan American Games in 2023 have been made,” COA President Gerardo Werthein said.

He added that a consensus was reached with both the city and the national governments.

Buenos Aires is set to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and it was hoped to leverage some of the legacy of those Games to stage the Pan Am Games.  Further analysis, however, showed that this would be more costly than first thought and it would be difficult to handle both events so close together.

Argentina National Olympic Committee President Gerardo Werthein

Argentina National Olympic Committee President Gerardo Werthein

Werthein told Télam that after a comprehensive budget analysis it was determined that a budget close to USD $700 million would be required.

He added that the government “feels more comfortable” postponing the project four years and bidding for the 2027 Games instead to take advantage of “the synergy” from the 2018 Youth Olympics and the 2027 Rugby World Cup for which Argentina is already bidding.

Buenos Aires staged the inaugural Pan Am Games in 1951.

About Robert Livingstone


A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.