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I think from what I am seeing of Guadalajara's new venues Mexico is going to be fine and comparable to Rio 2007, Toronto the only thing that i see as a weakness is the spread of the games footprint . There will be a point at which the scale will be more realistic . Lets Face it with Toronto and Rio you have two cities that are looking to stage the summer olympics in the future.

Jim jones

JJ,

I think Toronto's attempt is similar to Rio's. Staging an over ambitious PanAm Games to create a legacy and test the logistics for the SOG. Of course, PanAm Games are not in the same scale, but the concept can be tested and lessons can be learned.

1. Rio underestimated the budget for the PanAm Games, so now they have a pretty solid budget for 2016.

2. The strategy to make traffic flow was a success in 2007, so it will be dificult for the IOC to refute the transport times that people will take in the 2016 campaign.

By hosting very good PanAm Games and follow it with an Olympic bid reflecting the lessons learned, Toronto should have a trong bid for the SOG and I think that's what they have in mind. Hence, I don't see them losing the bid.

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Hamilton on track for Games committee visit

August 29, 2009

John Kernaghan

The Hamilton Spectator

http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/626046

When the Pan Am Games appraisal team comes to Hamilton on Monday, it won't be by limo.

Officials with Toronto 2015 will address a contentious element of the $1.4-billion bid with their choice of transit: They'll bring the panel of six by GO train and bus.

"We want to show how we'll execute transportation for the Games," said Bob Richardson, senior adviser for the Greater Golden Horseshoe bid group.

So it will be a dedicated train to Burlington's Aldershot station, then a shuttle bus to McMaster University to start their tour of Hamilton.

The evaluation commission members appointed by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) will go express to show how athletes could cover the 68 kilometres from the athletes' village to Hamilton venues.

"It's not distance, it's time and comfort that matter most," says Michael Chambers, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

Chambers understands what the visitors will be looking for. He served on the evaluation panel that checked out bids from San Antonio and Rio for the 2007 Games, which Rio won.

He's confident the group will understand that the trip from the athletes' village in Toronto's West Donlands to Copps Coliseum or the proposed stadium site near Bay and Barton streets would be no longer than that of other Pan Am Games or Olympics.

Toronto 2015 is using 45 minutes as the standard, either by express GO train right into the city or buses on a dedicated lane on the Queen Elizabeth Way and Highway 403.

The Spectator experimented by simulating dedicated lanes through a Sunday trip and drove the route in 38 minutes.

The next challenge will be showing the site for the second-most important Games venue -- the $102-million, 15,000-seat track and field stadium and $11.3-million, 3,500-seat velodrome.

That West Harbour site near CN Rail lines is an old industrial area.

Chambers recalled a site visit in Rio in 2001.

"We were taken to an abandoned airfield outside Rio and asked to imagine a complex for court sports."

The panel will see bricks and mortar at Copps and Mac's Ron Joyce Stadium, which would host early-round soccer.

They might also encounter groups protesting bid spending as two anti-Games outfits have cropped up this week.

The London-based Freedom Party of Ontario has started a No Tax for Pan Am protest and a coalition called No Games Toronto says it plans to protest at proposed venues there.

After a quick tour here, weather permitting, the appraisal team will leave by helicopter to look at the Henley rowing course in St. Catharines and proposed canoe/kayak sprint course in Welland.

After that, they'll fly back across the entire breadth of the Games' footprint for a literal overview.

The evaluation commission arrives this afternoon in Toronto following visits to 2015 Games rivals Lima, Peru, and Bogota, Colombia.

The upside to being last, says Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger, is that "we have a chance to make the lasting impression. We'll be stressing the enthusiasm for the Games and the lasting legacy for Hamilton."

He said he will point out that the stadium and velodrome can service generations of sports and recreational users, and the development of the West Harbour site would transform the city.

"It can leverage other development and services, especially transportation like GO and a light rail transit line."

Hamilton businessman David Braley, who helped launch the Pan Am drive and sits on Toronto 2015's board, will show the Pan Am panel the Mac football facility and where the 50-metre training pool would be located.

He'll take the opportunity to show support for the Games goes beyond government circles.

"We'll stress we have all the resources in place to build facilities and stage the Games and I'll point out there are people like me, with experience in business and the business of sport, who are backing the bid."

Braley has already made his international mark as the brains behind the highly successful 2003 Road World Cycling Championships.

After a brief closing media conference and dinner Monday evening, the panel will return home to compile a report to the 42-member nations of PASO.

They'll leave with a development that will make travel easier for Games athletes.

The federal government announced yesterday it is granting a special visa exemption for 2015. Athletes' accreditation will serve as a visa and they will ease into Canada with that and a passport.

Chambers says it is a meaningful development that puts Pan Am athletes on the same footing as athletes at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler.

He explained the evaluation commission will not issue a ranking of the bids, but will grade them in several categories with the sum being whether they can host more than 5,000 athletes competing in 34 sports.

The COC head said an important aspect of the visit is that five members of the appraisal group are voting delegates.

"They are senior executives in sport and very influential," he noted. "So what they pass on by word of mouth is very important, too."

Their words could resonate in early November when the 2015 host is selected.

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Looks like a "Bread Not Circuses" clone is trying to spoil the party for Toronto again.

This is news to me, I wonder how this group got together?

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These people are too caught up in their self-importance to realize that hosting events such as these can have long-term benefits for the city such as needed infrastructure improvements. They always seem to cite the effect such games have on the impoverished, but haven't many past hosts used their athletes villages as low and middle income housing?

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Toronto 2015 has a very strong bid that is supported of the three levels of government. Everyone is on board for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games. Support among Southern Ontario residents is 80 percent, these group of individuals do not reflect the majority of people who support this bid.

It is amazing to see all three levels of government federal, provincial, municipal, and community leaders working together to bring in 2015 Pan Am Games to Southern Ontario.

Everything in the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games bid is fully financed and the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games Athletes Village is publicly financed and under construction.

This is truly amazing because when you look at athletes villages in the past whether it is for the Olympics, Commonwealth games, and the Pan Am Games, cities have trouble funding the athletes village.

In Toronto is 2015 Pan Am Games athletes village is fully financed and already under construction, the 2015 Pan Am Games site inspectors are going to very impressed to see that the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games village is under construction and fully financed. This is one of many advantages the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games bid has over its competitors.

The 2015 Pan Am Games inspectors are going to come always very impressed and excited about Toronto's hosting the 2015 Pan Am Games.

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Aug 28, 2009 13:33 ET

Minister Flaherty and Minister Lunn Confirm Use of Accreditation Card for Pan American Games for Toronto 2015 Bid

http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Ci...da-1037118.html

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 28, 2009) - The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State (Sport), on behalf of the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, are pleased to announce that the Government of Canada is committed to granting all Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) nations (admissible athletes, coaches and officials) access to Canada during their visit to Toronto in 2015 by way of their PASO identity cards.

"Our government's commitment to Toronto's bid remains strong and we're thrilled to assist in making the athlete experience as seamless as possible," said Minister Flaherty. "Having the PASO identity cards function as travel visas facilitates access to Canada and promotes a great Games experience for all Pan Am participants."

"Our Government looks forward to welcoming the finest athletes in the Americas to Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe in 2015, and we are working with all of our partners to ensure that these will be the greatest Pan American and Parapan American Games ever," said Minister of State Lunn. "This decision reinforces our commitment to assist in making this bid a complete success, and I am eager to do my part to help bring these Games back to Canada."

The Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games bid has a federal government guarantee that, once issued, the Pan American identity card will have the same force as a visa when accompanied by a valid passport. This guarantee includes the exemption of associated visa fees for all Pan Am Games participants. Games participants must apply for the card and applicants must meet Canada's normal immigration requirements, including security screening.

A portion of the federal government's commitment of $500 million toward the Pan/Parapan American Games will cover the cost of the accreditation process. The government's accreditation process is consistent with the commitment made to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.

The Pan Am Games are a major international multisport event held every four years for athletes of the 42 PASO member nations. The Games consist of all summer Olympic sports plus other events selected by the Pan American Sports Organization, and a number of the participating sports qualify for the Olympics. The last edition of the Games was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in July 2007, and the next will take place in Guadalajara, Mexico, in October 2011

Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games bid is the only bid to grant all Pan Am Games Nations access cards to Canada. This strengthens the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games bid and gives Toronto an advantage over its competitors

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Pan Am delegation hits Hamilton Monday

August 30, 2009

JOHN KERNAGHAN

THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR

http://www.thespec.com/News/BreakingNews/article/626173

TORONTO -- The evaluation team examining the Southern Ontario Pan Am Games bid covered a handful of venues Sunday and readied for Monday's visit to Hamilton.

"They are an energetic and highly-engaged group who ask a lot of questions," said Toronto 2015 senior advisor Bob Richardson.

The six-member appraisal panel traveled with OPP motorcycle outriders as they started the day with breakfast at the top of the CN Tower and visited the West Don Lands site where the 2015 Athlete's Village would be located.

"They saw the remedial work at the site, asked about land ownership and were assured the land is secured and ready to go."

At York University's Rexall Centre, proposed site of the tennis competition, a half-dozen protesters from No Pan Am Games Toronto set up in front of the tennis stadium.

Spokesperson Joeita Gupta said the group opposed the 2015 sports showcase because it would inevitably cost taxpayers more than the $1.4 billion price tag due to cost overruns, there is no assurance of social housing arising from the athlete's village and it pushed aside too many pressing social issues.

Monday in Hamilton the appraisal commission will arrive by GO train, visit McMaster University and, weather permitting, fly by helicopter over the proposed stadium site near Bay and Barton streets.

Canada's Minister of State for Sport, Gary Lunn, said in a statement that the enthusiasm around the bid is palpable.

“Although they’ll only be here a short time, the delegation members will no doubt sense the excitement on behalf of everyone involved in this bid to welcome the Pan Am athletes in 2015.”

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I haven't posted on these forums in ages.

Anyways, I just wanted to say that the 2015 Pan Am Games should be Toronto's to lose. Toronto's bid is far superior to the competition. Let's be realistic here.

Toronto is setting them selves up for a Olympic bid run for either 2020/2024/2028. Obviously, the Olympic bid will be on a whole new level compared to this Pan Am Games bid. The quality of the competition here didn't require Toronto to pull out the big guns with its bid like an Olympics would require. If Chicago wins its 2016 Olympic bid, which is likely, then the earliest I see the Toronto team submitting a bid that's winnable once you take into account geopolitics would be 2028, however, I wouldn't be surprised if they tried and took a crack at 2024.

Just curious to know what other members here think if Chicago loses its 2016 bid, would Toronto have a good shot at winning a 2020 bid? The race for 2020 should be really exciting then which would include cities such Chicago, Tokyo, Rome, Busan, Cape Town, Rio, Madrid, Berlin, St.Petersburg, Doha,etc.

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I haven't posted on these forums in ages.

Anyways, I just wanted to say that the 2015 Pan Am Games should be Toronto's to lose. Toronto's bid is far superior to the competition. Let's be realistic here.

Toronto is setting them selves up for a Olympic bid run for either 2020/2024/2028. Obviously, the Olympic bid will be on a whole new level compared to this Pan Am Games bid. The quality of the competition here didn't require Toronto to pull out the big guns with its bid like an Olympics would require. If Chicago wins its 2016 Olympic bid, which is likely, then the earliest I see the Toronto team submitting a bid that's winnable once you take into account geopolitics would be 2028, however, I wouldn't be surprised if they tried and took a crack at 2024.

Just curious to know what other members here think if Chicago loses its 2016 bid, would Toronto have a good shot at winning a 2020 bid? The race for 2020 should be really exciting then which would include cities such Chicago, Tokyo, Rome, Busan, Cape Town, Rio, Madrid, Berlin, St.Petersburg, Doha,etc.

If BOTH chicago and Rio miss out on 2016, well Toronto should go for it, timing would probably never be better!

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Thanks Roltel.....how have the boards been? It seems it has picked up. The last times I was on here it was completely dead and the topic were quite boring.

Five weeks out from a Summer Games decision - definitely peak times for the board. Our quadrennial highlight!

Much as you'd expect - Chicagoans versus Cariocas versus Madrilenos versus nobody much from Tokyo.

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Uh Oh - here come the naysayers:

With Toronto and region set to play host over the coming days to the dignitaries who will decide whether to award the city the 2015 Pan Am Games, a blast front the past has reared its head in an attempt to spoil the bid.

A grassroots coalition calling itself the No Games Toronto has planned a rally for Monday and roving protests over the weekend at prospective venues members of the Pan American Sports Organization’s evaluation committee will be touring.

The anti-mega sporting events group is drawing inspiration and members from Bread Not Circuses, the movement that claims credit for scuttling Toronto’s two failed efforts to host the Olympics.

The opponents argue the city and region’s $1.4-billion Pan Am and para-Pan Am Games will leave divert resources away from more pressing priorities like homelessness, high tuition fees and social housing and leave a legacy of crippling debt.

“Everyday people don’t need velodromes as much as they need the assurance there will be a hospital bed there when they need it,” said spokesperson Joeita Gupta, a vice-president of U of T’s student government, representing part-time students. “It’s unacceptable to spend billions of dollars on week-long sporting bonanza when we have so many bigger needs.”

Cam Jackson, currently the Mayor of Burlington, but once Ontario’s minister for sport and tourism, was involved in Toronto’s unsuccessful bids from the 1996 and 2008 Olympic Games, remembers the vociferous protests well.

But he said in an interview he doesn’t think their antics are what prevented Toronto from winning the Games then.

“The fix was in,” he said about Atlanta clinching the ’96 Olympics.

Nor does Mr. Jackson believe demonstrations will thwart Toronto’s chance at nabbing the Pan Am Games now. In fact, he said, it may have the opposite effect the protesters are seeking when visiting officials see civil liberties on display here that might not be tolerated in competing cities like Bogota, Colombia or Lima, Peru.

“It’s an opportunity to demonstrate what a welcoming and open society we have,” Mr. Jackson said. “I’m proud to be Canadian.

The anti-games movement emerged suddenly on the eve of the dignitaries' site visit, after making barely a peep when the federal, provincial and city governments threw their endorsements behind the efforts last year and when the bid was unveiled in the spring.

Former premier David Peterson, chair of the Toronto 2015 bid committee, was not immediately available for comment yesterday but issues a statement in advance of the PASO judge’s visit Sunday and Monday.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the Evaluation Commission and are ready to make our case as the ideal city to host the 2015 Pan American Games,” said Mr. Peterson. “We’ve worked very hard to put together an excellent bid. We now have the chance to show PASO first-hand the world-class venues, infrastructure, attractions and exciting new facilities that we can deliver.”

The evaluation visit is described by Toronto 2015 as a “critical milestone on the way to the final bid presentation and vote in Guadalajara, Mexico in November”

The dignitaries from Uruguay, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay and St. Kitts and Nevis will spend two days touring some of the 50 venues in 16 municipalities in and around Toronto where some 38 sporting events would be held in July 2015.

But the protesters will be following close behind Sunday with its “No Games Flying Squad” – a bus that anti-event spokesperson Richard McKergow said will also be touring sites.

“The message we want to give them is want the games here,” he said. “We don’t want the debt, we don’t want the police presence.”

A rally planned for Monday at the University of Toronto’s Varsity Stadium, will include as speakers John Clark, from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, and Ajamu Nangwaya, from Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3907.

Mr. Jackson said these groups and some of the same individuals were involved in Bread Not Circuses in the 1990s.

“It’s a different temperament between the 1990s and today,” he said. “These [the visiting dignitaries] are intelligent people who aren’t going to be influenced by this one bit.”

National Post

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If BOTH chicago and Rio miss out on 2016, well Toronto should go for it, timing would probably never be better!

If Chicago AND Rio both miss out for 2016 (which seems extremely unlikely, but I guess anything is possible), then 2020 could be the bidding war of the Americas'!

Surely Brazil would bid again & the USOC would be stupid not to, since by 2020 a North American Olympics would be long, long overdue. Plus, maybe we could see bids from Mexico & Argentina emerge. Toronto would have a serious fight on their hands. Not to mention in the unlikely event that either Madrid or Tokyo win, we could see a fountain of bids from the respective losing continent. And let's not forget South Africa, too. Either way, Toronto could see the fiercest competition with a 2020 bid than they did with either of their previous 2 attempts.

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If Chicago AND Rio both miss out for 2016 (which seems extremely unlikely, but I guess anything is possible), then 2020 could be the bidding war of the Americas'!

Surely Brazil would bid again & the USOC would be stupid not to, since by 2020 a North American Olympics would be long, long overdue. Plus, maybe we could see bids from Mexico & Argentina emerge. Toronto would have a serious fight on their hands. Not to mention in the unlikely event that either Madrid or Tokyo win, we could see a fountain of bids from the respective losing continent. And let's not forget South Africa, too. Either way, Toronto could see the fiercest competition with a 2020 bid than they did with either of their previous 2 attempts.

What's the alternative - wait for the next bid cycle that favours the Americas, but with no Americas bidders, and weak competition from elsewhere. It could be a loooooonnnnnggggg wait.

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Not saying that at all.

The question was posed though; "if Chicago loses it's 2016 bid, would Toronto have a 'good shot' at winning a 2020 bid?"

Was merely stating the possible scenarios that would face certain bid cities.

Well, why not? There's probably a good many IOC members who'd be more comfortable with a bid from Canada compared to the US (we all know one of the most frequent refrains we hear here is "The US gets too many games"), Chicago mark 2 might well suffer a fatigue/overfamiliarity as so many repeat bidders do on their second attempts, the IOC might be feel they'd like to "make-up" for choosing Atlanta over Toronto for 1996. And if Rio loses out this time, why would Mexico, Rio or Buenos Aires be in so much a better position next time... yadda yadda. I'd just say (provided it could get together a decent plan, which I'd assume they'd be able to manage) it'd have as good a shot as any for a 2020 bid if it was perceived to be an opportunity for the Americas.

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"Chicago mark 2 might well suffer a fatigue/overfamiliarity as so many repeat bidders do on their second attempt."

That's assuming Chicago bids a second time. The USOC may very well decide to open up the domestic process again & go with someone else &/or Chicago may decide not to bid again. Besides, isn't it the overwhelming consensus on here that most bids never win on their first attempt anyway. So that would seem to throw out that "fatigue/overfamiliarity" out the window.

"we all know one of the most frequent refrains we hear here is "the U.S. gets too many games."

At this rate, Canada could fall into that category, too, considering Vancouver 2010 is coming up in just 6 months. Not to mention that it would be Canada's 3rd Games in only 34 years in a country that has roughly the same population as the state of California.

"the IOC might feel they'd like to 'make-up' for choosing Atlanta over Toronto for 1996."

Didn't the IOC already do that by giving Vancouver the 2010 Games. At least that's, again, what the general consensus on here is.

"And if Rio loses out this time, why would Mexico, Rio or Buenos Aires be in so much better position next time...'yadda yadda."

Well, why wouldn't they? Beijing was in a much better position the next time around. With the exception of Mexico - Rio & Buenos Aires both lie in a continent that has yet to host the Olympics & could very well have the sentimental factor going for them, especially Rio, after losing out for 2016. Worked for Athens after losing out '96.

Again, not saying it's not possible, but "good shot" would seem to be an overstatement for the time being.

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"Chicago mark 2 might well suffer a fatigue/overfamiliarity as so many repeat bidders do on their second attempt."

That's assuming Chicago bids a second time. The USOC may very well decide to open up the domestic process again & go with someone else &/or Chicago may decide not to bid again. Besides, isn't it the overwhelming consensus on here that most bids never win on their first attempt anyway. So that would seem to throw out that "fatigue/overfamiliarity" out the window.

"we all know one of the most frequent refrains we hear here is "the U.S. gets too many games."

At this rate, Canada could fall into that category, too, considering Vancouver 2010 is coming up in just 6 months. Not to mention that it would be Canada's 3rd Games in only 34 years in a country that has roughly the same population as the state of California.

"the IOC might feel they'd like to 'make-up' for choosing Atlanta over Toronto for 1996."

Didn't the IOC already do that by giving Vancouver the 2010 Games. At least that's, again, what the general consensus on here is.

"And if Rio loses out this time, why would Mexico, Rio or Buenos Aires be in so much better position next time...'yadda yadda."

Well, why wouldn't they? Beijing was in a much better position the next time around. With the exception of Mexico - Rio & Buenos Aires both lie in a continent that has yet to host the Olympics & could very well have the sentimental factor going for them, especially Rio, after losing out for 2016. Worked for Athens after losing out '96.

Again, not saying it's not possible, but "good shot" would seem to be an overstatement for the time being.

Yeah, well, exactly! It's all just intangibles at this point of the game anyway. But what point are you exactly trying to make? That if, in the highly unlikely chance that 2020 becomes a battle of the Americas, that the competition would be too tough for Toronto and it shouldn't even think about it? I just reckon, if push came to shove and the unlikely happened, Toronto would have as good a shot as any - to the point of being prety well guaranteed to be short list material - and might as well go for it if it wanted. You take your opportunities when they come, they may never come again or only after a long, long time.

Typical bloody GamesBids - here we are arguing about hypothetical bidders for a highly fluid Summer Olympiad race, before the race preceding it has even been decided, in a thread about the Pan-Ams.

;)

Edited by Sir Roltel
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Hamilton Spectator endorses the bid................

The Spectator's View

Games worthy of our support

August 31, 2009

Howard Elliott

The Hamilton Spectator

http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/626237

Legacy. The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines it as "something that has been handed down by an ancestor or predecessor." Thanks to the efforts on the part of the 2015 Golden Horseshoe Pan Am Games bid committee, Hamilton and the Greater Toronto Area are poised to be the beneficiaries of a tremendous legacy of international goodwill, athletic accomplishment and sports infrastructure.

In a little more than two months, the Pan American Sports Organization will hold its annual congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, where PASO will award the 2015 Games to Canada, Peru (Lima) or Colombia (Bogota). An integral part of that process is under way in Hamilton today, with PASO delegates here on an evaluation visit.

The Spectator is on the record as a passionate supporter of this Games bid, as it has been of previous efforts. We know that this city and region is an ideal choice for the 2015 Games. Southern Ontario, with its rich sporting heritage, is the perfect location to give the Pan Am Games a higher profile than they currently enjoy in Canada. The most populous part of the country is filled with avid fans of sports and athletics, as demonstrated by the strong support base for pro franchises and intercollegiate sports in the Golden Horseshoe.

That large population also translates into a ready and able volunteer workforce, such a critical element in the success of major amateur sport events. For evidence of that, look no further than the huge volunteer workforce that helped make the 2003 Road World Cycling Championships a roaring success.

Anyone who lived here through that event can recall vividly the sense of pride and accomplishment engendered by seeing a field of speeding riders soar down tree-lined streets in front of enthusiastic crowds, and seeing it on national television, providing visceral proof of what Hamilton boosters have always said, that this is a city of great natural beauty and diversity well-suited to hosting world-class sporting events

The enthusiasm and drive behind that event have fuelled two robust Commonwealth Games bids, and from those bids has risen an idea that is pure Hamilton, and should act as powerful incentive for PASO delegates to back the Golden Horseshoe bid.

A four-point plan contained in the bid will help athletes and coaches from smaller PASO countries come to Canada and enjoy world-class training and coaching assistance in advance of the Games. The plan would involve athletic scholarships, clinics and workshops on sports administration and marketing. And McMaster University, with its impressive athletic and training facilities, and a deep pool of expertise, will play a central role.

From the perspective of Hamilton and Burlington citizens, the benefits and legacy of a successful bid are equally compelling. Hamilton stands to gain a new stadium. The stadium would also house a world-class track facility that would be the venue for track and field competition in 2015, and could be used to make the city a track centre of excellence.

Accompanying the track and stadium at the west end of Hamilton Harbour would be a velodrome, for cycling during the Games and for public and competitive use, 365 days a year, by the public and high-level cyclists in training, once the Games are finished.

Hamilton aquatic enthusiasts would also benefit from a new 50-metre pool that would reside at McMaster University, replacing the aging pool and providing a legacy for Mac swimmers, local swim clubs and the public in general.

And Burlington would benefit from construction of a new soccer stadium that would host preliminary rounds of competition in 2015.

These major pieces of sport and recreational infrastructure offer huge potential for the Hamilton-Burlington area to grow and further establish a reputation as a sporting centre, and they come with added incentive: the provincial and federal governments would cover more than half the cost.

In closing, it's fitting that along with acknowledging the efforts of all the bid committee and their supporters, we pay special tribute to David Braley, the Hamilton businessman and philanthropist whose vision has been central to this bid, along with the two Commonwealth Games bids, and who steered the successful world cycling championships. Braley, who has also invested millions in local health care and other sectors, is a Hamilton icon who, in his heart, gets this city and what it's capable of. The city is fortunate to have many champions, but few are bolder and more committed than Braley.

All indications are that the 2015 Games bid has strong public support, the backing of local government, and support and willingness to invest on the part of the provincial and federal governments. The bid is innovative, forward-looking and dynamic. The Games have the potential to energize the Golden Horseshoe, to leave it a better place than before they came. They are eminently worthy of support.

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Delegates will assess sites for 2015 Games

August 31, 2009

John Kernaghan

The Hamilton Spectator

http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/626233

Hamilton gets to show its Pan Am Games face today as members of an evaluation commission visit the city and take its measure as a major hub for the 2015 spectacle.

The six-member panel will check out sites proposed for a 15,000-seat athletics stadium, indoor cycling track, Burlington's Sherwood Park soccer stadium and a practice pool at McMaster University.

The appraisal team appointed by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) will also look at existing facilities such as Copps Coliseum, which would house volleyball, and the soccer field at Ron Joyce Stadium at Mac.

The evaluation group is assessing three bids for the 42-nation showcase. PASO encompasses countries from North America, South America and the Caribbean.

The panel has already visited Lima, Peru, and arrived in Toronto Saturday from a field trip to Bogota, Colombia. Those two cities are competitors to Toronto 2015, which spans southern Ontario cities.

Hamilton and Burlington form the West Games Zone of the bid footprint and represent about $170 million of the $708-million capital spending in the $1.4-billion total budget.

The evaluation committee will report its findings to the PASO executive. Those reports, analyzing the three bids' ability to deliver the Games, will be distributed to voting delegates.

The vote on the 2015 host city is Nov. 4 at PASO's annual congress in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Below are descriptions of the proposed and existing facilities.

PAN AMERICAN STADIUM

The 15,000-seat stadium would house track and field for the Pan Am and Parapan Games at a proposed site in the West Harbour area northwest of Bay and Barton streets.

The projected cost is $102 million, of which the city would pay almost $45 million. The Toronto 2015 bid book forecasts completion in 2014 with post-Games use as a training centre for athletics and multipurpose community use.

It could also grow to 25,000 seats and become a new home for the Tiger-Cats if the football club and the private sector can come up with $50 million for the larger capacity.

COPPS COLISEUM

The 17,500-seat arena, which is almost 25 years old, would hold the volleyball tournaments, which are one of the Games' biggest events.

RON JOYCE STADIUM

The McMaster facility can hold 6,000 people for early-round soccer games.

PAN AMERICAN VELODROME

The cycling track to seat 3,500 would be located beside the practice track of the stadium complex and is budgeted for $11.3 million.

The city would pick up $5 million of that for a steel frame and fabric structure.

The Canadian Cycling Centre at McMaster is hoping to raise funds for a more substantial structure if the bid is won.

MCMASTER TRAINING POOL

It would replace a declining facility and cost $35 million. Mac would pick up $15 million of that.

SHERWOOD PARK STADIUM

The proposed 10,000-seat Burlington stadium would host early-round soccer and serve as a regional training and competition centre after the Games.

Burlington would pick up about $13 million of the $23-million cost.

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Pan-Am officials laud Mac venue

Athletic complex "Olympic standard": Evaluators

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Mayor Fred Eisenberger and other officials toured members of the Pan Am Games evaluation group around city facilities Monday morning.

August 31, 2009

John Kernaghan

http://www.thespec.com/News/BreakingNews/article/626351

McMaster University’s sports facilities exceed the needs of the 2015 Pan Am Games and are up to Olympic standards.

That was the message Monday morning from members of an appraisal commission visiting Hamilton, says Pan Am promoter David Braley.

“I had a few minutes with each member and they think this complex is at the Olympic level, not just Pan American Games level,” Braley said after the 45-minute visit.

The athletic complex is named after him the football stadium bears the name of Tim Hortons founder Ron Joyce.

McMaster president Peter George said his time with member of the commission gave him a good feeling about this bid.

“I was disappointed in the past (by Commonwealth Games failures) but feel optimistic this time.”

The appraisal panel is looking at the Toronto 2015 bid from southern Ontario as well as proposals from Lima, Peru and Bogota, Colombia. Hamilton was the last stop on their land tour, then they left Mac on two helicopters to take in existing facilities and proposed venue sites.

Planned flyovers included Copps Coliseum, the stadium and velodrome site at Bay and Barton Streets, then Niagara Falls, a canoe/kayak site at Welland and the Henley rowing facility at St. Catharines.

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