Toronto a month away from Pan Am decision

With five weeks to go until the final vote things seem to be on track for Toronto’s 2015 Pan American Games bid.

A month ago, the committee welcomed Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) representatives to an evaluation commission in Ontario’s capital and the visitors were impressed with what Toronto had to offer.

In two days, members of the bid committee will be attending the International Olympic Committee (IOC) congress in Copenhagen, Oct. 3-5.

The city of Toronto feels good about their chances of hosting the games.

“The buzz from the PASO community is very strong in Toronto,” said a spokesperson of Toronto mayor David Miller. “There’s a great deal to be confident about with our bid.”

The winning city will be announced at the PASO general assembly in Mexico from November 3-5. Also in contention are Bogota, Columbia and Lima, Peru.

There are 52 votes from 42 nations.

Each Olympic committee has one vote. Argentina, Mexico, USA, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic will each have two votes because they are previous hosts.

The Toronto bid committee will be at the IOC congress to connect with other national Olympic committees who have a say in choosing the host city for the Pan Am Games.

In Copenhagen, they will continue informing PASO voters of the bid, highlight and explain elements of the bid, and secure votes.

“Toronto’s games would be good for both international sport and for the community,” said Toronto 2015 President and COO Jagoda Pike.

“We have world-class venues, resources and committed funding to stage an exceptional event for athletes.  Importantly, our plans also ensure venues and programs operate for people of all ages and abilities right here at home long beyond the Games.”

The total budget for the bid comes to $2.4 billion — $1.4 for the actual Games and $1 billion for an athlete’s village in the West Don Lands.

Six new venues will be built across the GTA if Toronto ends up hosting the games, including a national sports institute, Pan American aquatic centre, and two new 10-lane, 50-metre pools (all to be built in Scarborough), as well as a Pan American stadium and velodrome (both to be built in Hamilton).

Canada last hosted the Games when they were held in Winnipeg in 1999.

The last two Pan Ams were in the Dominican Republic, 2003 and Brazil, 2007. The next event will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2011.