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Volume 27 No. 6
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Financial Risks Have Toronto Officials Apprehensive Over Bid For '24 Games

If Toronto Mayor John Tory "plans to bid" for the '24 Games, he will "have to quell concerns in his own council about the financial risks involved," according to Paola Loriggio of the CP. Toronto City Council member Gary Crawford, who heads the city's budget committee, yesterday said that now that the excitement over the Pan Am Games "has faded, he is feeling more uncertain about supporting a possible Olympic bid." He said, "I'm taking a cautious step back now and looking at the numbers very carefully. There are a lot of unanswered questions at the moment that need to be answered: who's going to be paying for the bid -- [C]$50 million to $60 million -- where's the support from the provincial (and) federal governments, that's an absolute key necessity, and where the private sector is." Tory said that he has "spoken spoken briefly to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the possibility of a bid, but wants to confer with the remaining federal leaders and city council on the matter." Toronto City Council member James Pasternak, who also sits on the budget committee, said that the city "would be better off waiting to bid for the next Summer Games instead of rushing into a risky last-minute attempt." He said, "I think the ship has sailed for 2024. Our hope at this point would be that a non-North American city wins 2024, that Los Angeles loses, and that 2028 is really our chance." Lorrigio noted Toronto has "unsuccessfully bid for the Games twice, most recently" for the '08 Games "that went to Beijing" (CP, 9/1).

GAINING SUPPORT: In Toronto, Vicki Hall notes with the debate "ramping up, several high-profile Canadian Olympians -- past and present -- are rallying behind a potential bid." Gold Medal-winning trampoline gymnast Rosie MacLennan said, "I can’t imagine what it must be like to compete in front of an Olympic audience on home soil. We are ready and I hope Canada supports this exciting and important step for our great city" (TORONTO SUN, 9/2). 

JONESING FOR THE GAMES: In Toronto, Mike Strobel writes, "You can tell John Tory is itching to write that Olympics bid letter." The submission deadline is "barely two weeks away and the mayor is consulting like mad on whether to chase" the '24 Games. City council members "seem wary, to say the least, especially now" that L.A. "has joined the race." The Pam Am Games left the city with "10 spanking new sports venues," that are "perfect" for the Olympics (TORONTO SUN, 9/2).