SBD/January 15, 2014/Olympics

Report: Toronto Would Have To Hurry To Make '24 Olympic Bid, Assume New Facilities Needed

Ford thinks Toronto should hold judgement until after next year's PanAm Games
If the city of Toronto is "serious about making a bid" for the '24 Olympic Games, it needs to invest $912,000 (all figures U.S.) "to do the necessary groundwork this year and should assume that none of the facilities under construction for the Pan Am Games are suitable for reuse," according to a report cited by Elizabeth Church of the GLOBE & MAIL. The report, prepared for the city by Ernst & Young, states that "'an immediate mobilization of resources' is needed if Toronto wants to bid" on the '24 games, beginning with a $912,000 "'pre-application' study to consider the pros and cons of hosting the Olympics and to gauge the support of higher levels of government and corporate sponsorship." The report stated that a formal bid would cost $45.6-54.7M, with the cost of hosting at $3-6.3B. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said that he "wants to wait and see" how the '15 PanAm Games "work out before committing the city [to] another bid." Ford said, "Right now, I’m a little skeptical about putting in a million dollars after I saw our failure for our last Olympic bid. If you’re asking me right now today, I’d say no. Let’s see how the Pan Am Games go and we’ll take it from there" (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/15). In Toronto, Betsy Powell notes Ford in '11 "rejected an overture for Toronto to participate in a bid" for the '2020 Games. Meanwhile, the report states "time is of the essence" for Toronto in preparing a bid. The report states that for the IOC deadline to be met, the pre-bid processes "would have to be initiated as soon as possible and completed for city council’s consideration" in early '15. In Toronto, Betsy Powell notes Rio de Janiero "leveraged" its '07 Pan Am Games into a winning Olympic bid for '16, and "some hope Toronto might follow suit" (TORONTO STAR, 1/15).
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