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A Pan Am Games in Toronto could possibly be like Winnipeg. We'd have a small athletics venue and a major stadium hosting the ceremonies.

I could see a small 40,000 or 45,000 seater "athletics" stadium be used for the Pan Am Games, with possible expansion should Toronto bid or land the Olympics. It could possibly be designed as such, that it is convertible, or that extra rows of seats could be place on the track (a la Vienna' Ernst Happel Stadium Euro 2008), for football configuration.

For a dramatic ceremonies, you could use the Skydome in Grey Cup football configuration of 52,000 seats. It's the perfect choice for ambiance, but obviously, if you want this to be a prelude to the Olympics, hosting ceremonies at the athletics venue would help (you couldn't select the Skydome as a ceremonies venue for an Olympics, as the main stadium (which may be upgraded to say 80,000), would be used.

Expect the "main" stadium to be in Toronto and Toronto being the bulk of the bid, world class facilities in other cities can be used, but Toronto will be expected to host a majority if not all the indoor sports, athletics and other key sports.

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Victor backs Toronto 2015 as well!! :lol:/

But I have a question to the canadian participants: Is there any chance that the city of Toronto may end up "absorbing" the majority of the main events of these games for itself as a move to make this bid more reliable?

I mean, naming it "Toronto 2015" and not "Golden Horseshoe 2015" is an indicative that the games are Toronto's, as a preparation to their olympic plans.

I ask this because of this part:

"It must be fair and seen to be fair," Peterson said. "There are a lot of people with high expectations. I can guarantee you that some of the expectations will not be fulfilled.

"Some people are going to end up mad at me. There will be disappointment."

I take that as "cry if you want, the best piece of the cake goes to the party owner". What do you think?

I don't think the naming thing really can be too closely linked to the location of the individual events. You may very well be right that things will be centralized, but I think it has been generally accepted since the bid's birth that it would be the Toronto 2015 Games. Money for Toronto is just about the worst way you can sell something in federal and even provincial politics, but everyone involved knew that if you throw away the Toronto name you lose any advantage of being a global city.

That being said, Hamilton will surely get something significant. There was some talk very early in the process of getting a new Ivor Wynne Stadium and the aquatics facilities, which would be a complete joke in my mind. At this point, I'm not sure what Hamilton gets that gets them a new stadium, as I can't imagine Toronto giving up the athletics, the premier event. Still, it seems to me, the Games have been sold with the stadium in mind, so they will surely demand something. Copps Coliseum could be used to host the basketball or volleyball finals, but that's not as high-profile as it would be in the Olympics. Where I live, in Markham, about 30-45 minutes north of Toronto, has been a proposed site for a major regional sports institute, and will definitely be pushing hard for aquatics, along with some other indoor sports like badminton and table tennis. The Markham aquatics centre was part of the 2008 Olympic bid, but not as the main aquatics venue, so it'll be interesting to see how they use it here.

This is the main potential problem with the bid. Too spread out, and the bid is complete sh*t. Too much in Toronto, and all the nearby municipalities complain about how much Toronto gets. If the bid loses, I think failing to strike the right balance is how. And one way to do that would be to have neither athletics or aquatics in Toronto itself, which other municipal governments seem to expect.

All that's clear to me right now in terms of venue placement is Tennis at the National Tennis Centre, and rowing in St. Catharines. Also, the general location of equestrian, if not a specific location.

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You guys haven't won the bid yet and already you're talking crap. Its this frivilous indecisiveness that makes you guys sore losers. Why would you want to stretch the games so thinly to include a whole region than hold it in a central location like the city of Toronto. These are silly crack in the bid that need not be there. see you in Bogota 2015!

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Peterson is right. Same thing happens in nearly every free and democratic society where there is a major international event...everyone wants their piece of the pie. But to win, they must stick to their strategy and find community support for it. There will always be NIMBYs and WNIMBYs (why not in my back yard) except in the places where there are totalitarian regimes. Like you know, Beijing and Orlando. Do vat Mickey Mao says!

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I really want to see Toronto win this - I am on record as saying they got screwed. But I have questions.

I don't see how the Pan Am plan would help Toronto in winning a future SOG. It's been several years since I have been in the Toronto area, but I do recall how spread out The Golden Horseshoe was. That and how traffic on I think it is the 401 can get?

Can't this be centralized more? What happened to the island the 2008 games were supposed to be held on?

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I really want to see Toronto win this - I am on record as saying they got screwed. But I have questions.

I don't see how the Pan Am plan would help Toronto in winning a future SOG. It's been several years since I have been in the Toronto area, but I do recall how spread out The Golden Horseshoe was. That and how traffic on I think it is the 401 can get?

Can't this be centralized more? What happened to the island the 2008 games were supposed to be held on?

The 401 is the busiest highway in North America and one of the busiest in the world. Its a nightmare.

I think its just gonna be used to get some infrastructure on the ground.

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  • 3 weeks later...

No... unfortunately, the bid has been damaged already by this grotesque idea of a region hosting the games instead of the city. If the region does win, it will be a logistics catastrophy and an unparalleled nightmare that will slap toronto in the face should it make an attempt to host a future games. Silly ppl.

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Ah, but in these tough economic times (bah!) isn't a fiscally responsible bid more acceptable than a risky new venues bid? That said, maybe Montreal is a better option since much of the facilities are already in place.

Montreal? Facilities in place? Legacy stuff from 1976? :P Uh, Montreal nowadays has very little in place left from 1976. Much of the venues from 1976 have been altered for different purposes post Olympics, like the velodrome turned biodome, the aquatics center downsized, and the Olympic stadium itself converted to host Baseball and Football. Should Montreal even want a games, it would need a proper Athletics Stadium, perhaps a re-alteration of the Olympic Stadium back to it's Olympic state, or the radical removal of the roof and dome structure to allow for the construction of a new tier level. The alternative is to expand seating in the warm up track, which would be a somewhat clumsy approach anyways.

Not to mention all the new sports that weren't around in 1976 (as well as the regional sports, that are played in the Pan Ams). Sure, a brand new exhibition complex could support many of these sports in one convenient location, but where would you put it? And imagine the cost of building such a thing!

Montreal doesn't need the Pan Ams, a future Olympics is sure to return, but only after it has been decided that the farce of an Olympic Stadium has been replaced.

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Montreal has more venues than what was built for 1976. The new pools from 2005, the multi-purpose Bell Centre, the new Saputo Stadium for football/soccer, Uniprix Stadium for tennis,

And a lot of the smaller facilities from 1976 still stand and could host smaller sports. Others just need some TLC. The rowing basin, for example. OK, the main stadium needs a lot of TLC and the velodrome is gone. But still, Montreal isn't totally out of the question.

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Montreal has more venues than what was built for 1976. The new pools from 2005, the multi-purpose Bell Centre, the new Saputo Stadium for football/soccer, Uniprix Stadium for tennis,

And a lot of the smaller facilities from 1976 still stand and could host smaller sports. Others just need some TLC. The rowing basin, for example. OK, the main stadium needs a lot of TLC and the velodrome is gone. But still, Montreal isn't totally out of the question.

On the scale of the Pan Am Games Montreal is fine . A velodrome for the Pan Am Games has been an outdoor temporary facility until recently rio 2007 built way beyond a Pan Am Games. Olympic Stadium does need a third tier for the Pan Am games as it has 10000 more seats for a main stadium then Rio 2007 had and Rio was the largest stadium built for the Pan am games. Most times 30000 seats would do for a Pan Am games. Saputo Stadium now takes up the room that the warm up track had for the Olympic Stadium.

New pools for the Fina world Championships in 2005 are there as well at Saint Helen. The so called downsizing of the 1976 Olympic pool is correct but that was basically the plan anyways. 3500 permanent with 6500 temporary seats for the Games there is probably not much preventing 6500 seats from going into the old Aquatics centre again. Most of the Venues for the 1976 still exist with the exception of the Montreal Forum which was replaced by the Bell Centre. Unirpix was the Jarry Park Baseball Stadium and is probably a largest tennis venue today then what was used in 1976.

There is no way that the Olympics will ever be staged in Montreal Again. The Citizens of Montreal and Quebec are probably being reminded of the governments huge folly when they open up the paper and read of London 2012 troubles. The folly between the two olympic cities has parallels and it is only time that increases the scale of lessons not learned.

Jim jones

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Pan Am bid idles along

Behind the scenes initiatives continue with Hamilton input

November 28, 2008

John Kernaghan

The Hamilton Spectator

The Pan American Games push seems like a water bird, quiet on the surface, but paddling madly underwater.

Toronto 2015 president Jagoda Pike has outlined an initiative that has been mostly silent to the public, but busy behind the scenes.

She said the bid is fully staffed with 12 employees in new offices in Toronto, working on the bid book. The naming of a board of directors is "imminent," and staff are discussing the required Pan Am facilities with national sports federations and interested municipalities in the Golden Horseshoe.

Pike, the former publisher of The Hamilton Spectator and Toronto Star, added an appointment from Hamilton rounded out her staff, signalling the start of an international lobbying effort.

Trish Chant-Sehl, of Tourism Hamilton, was seconded to work on the international relations element of the bid.

Chant-Sehl was involved in Hamilton's bids for the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games.

In Hamilton, an advisory group has been meeting to mull the city's pursuit of a stadium-velodrome complex, improvements to Copps Coliseum and upgrades at McMaster University.

That's what the city hopes for in hosting several sports within the $1.77-billion Games budget.

David Adames, executive director of Tourism Hamilton, said a Pan Am advisory board for Hamilton met yesterday to discuss how to best position the city to win those new facilities and improvements.

He said the group is also looking at how the facilities could fit into other developments, like the Metrolinx transportation scheme, and a master recreation plan.

Meanwhile, an undercurrent in amateur sports ranks that Ontario's Pan Am bid secretariat has been discussing about downsizing facilities in the Pan Am footprint was dismissed.

Pike said the 2015 showcase couldn't be won with anything other than stadiums and pools capable of hosting world championship events.

And Pierre Lafontaine, CEO of Swimming Canada, said southern Ontario desperately needs Olympic-class venues for his sport, and others like track cycling and track and field.

But he pointed out it was equally important that a swim facility have an enduring legacy beyond big events, to cover recreational uses, seniors swimming and a rehabilitation component.

Mississauga is recognized as the leading candidate for an aquatic centre.

As the bid footprint is developed, Hamilton's Chant-Sehl will be using her depth of experience to sell Toronto 2015 to the 41 other member nations of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO).

She said she brings familiarity with the Caribbean members of PASO, about half of total votes, from her work with the Commonwealth Games bids.

She looks forward to winning the bid and then leveraging any facilities Hamilton wins into sports events before and after 2015.

The Ontario government has forecast the Games would inject $2 billion into the economy through 17,000 construction jobs and 250,000 tourists.

The Canadian bid is competing with Lima, Peru, and Bogota, Colombia, for the 28-sport event. Formal bids are due in April and a vote will be held next fall.

Edited by Apple
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Pan Ams bid chair reassures Hamilton

December 12, 2008

John Kernaghan

The Hamilton Spectator


Hamilton's agenda for the 2015 Pan Am Games is clearly on the radar of bid chair David Peterson.

But it is one of scores of agendas, plans and stakes that a Cirque de Soleil troupe might have trouble keeping in the air.

"There's balls to juggle within balls," Peterson said yesterday of the complex process of getting a bid book for the 42-nation showcase by the end of April.

Still, this classic multi-tasker (he's also chancellor of the University of Toronto and a senior member of a major law firm), believes he is overseeing an enterprise that will have a plan in place by the end of this month or early next.

And he has told Hamilton's bid representative that Steeltown is expected to have a key role in Toronto 2015, as it is known for international purposes.

That comes as preparation to win looks as though it's taking a Toronto-centric turn.

Peterson visited David Adames this week, a followup of a Peterson request to come to Hamilton and discuss the bid.

Adames, the Tourism Hamilton executive director who was representing Mayor Fred Eisenberger, said the visit Monday was a chance to press Steeltown's case for a stadium and other improvements.

"He responded positively to the work we've done and confirmed Hamilton is a key part of the bid," Adames said.

That's been a constant with Peterson from the day he was appointed bid head and said it was only natural the second biggest city in the Golden Horseshoe region would have a significant role.

Meantime in Toronto, city council this week confirmed its backing of the 2015 initiative and tied upgrades to City Hall to hosting the Games. Also, the discussion suggested the University of Toronto would house the athletes village.

Peterson dismissed that, noting the Games would require housing for 8,000 and the bid group is looking at some combination of low-income and market housing development that would serve the Games.

The bid chair said he was not "fussed" about the suspension of Parliament. He believes Stephen Harper's commitment of $500 million to the Games isn't in danger and said the bid is ahead of the curve in respect to infrastructure programs need to jump-start the economy.

"We already have fixed dates for when facilities will be needed and we're already planning how to link these with improvements in transportation," said Peterson.

Also, he pointed out, the Pan Am projects have legs, creating long-term jobs and bolstering the recreation-health equation.

"If I can put modesty aside, I think we've done a great job in how quickly we have moved forward."

Peterson could not be precise about the naming of a board, something perhaps delayed by Ottawa's political drama. The Pan Am board would have one federal appointee to oversee Sport Canada's objectives and the $500-million commitment.

Ontario, the prime driver of the bid, is in for $625 million plus a guarantee to cover overruns.

Hamilton is pushing a slate of facilities and improvements as part of the $1.77-billion budget that includes a 30,000-seat stadium, world-class velodrome and improvements to Copps Coliseum and facilities at McMaster University.

A vote to determine the host city -- Lima and Bogota are also bidding -- is set for the fall of 2009.

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Do you know of any outdoor 375 metre Velodromes made of Concrete in the golden horseshoe area ?

I am sure knowledge of the requirements would really help Toronto 2015 LOL.

Jim jones

you could help them predict the clear winner, just like Abuja.

perhaps even advise on helping to set up some sort of public transport system. oh wait, Toronto actually has a public transport system.

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Economic woes a Pan-Am boon

Games tailor made for infrastructure investment

December 24, 2008

Vanessa Lu

Torstar News Service


If there's any silver lining to the economic crisis, it's that governments are more willing to open their wallets. Backers of the Ssouthern Ontario bid to host the 2015 Pan Am Games say that change of mindset should benefit them.

"We're the solution," said David Peterson, chair of the 2015 bid committee. "Everybody is talking about infrastructure. We can deliver this stuff fast."

Jagoda Pike, president and CEO of the bid committee, said the games proposal fits perfectly into "the desire to invest in infrastructure, move projects quickly and build jobs as a result."

The games would use existing facilities where available, but others would need to be built – a velodrome, pools for swimming and diving competitions, and permanent training facilities.

"It's about building a sustainable legacy, not a crazy legacy," Peterson said. "Build what we need in the right places that can help little kids in the future, and also help high-performance athletes."

The province's lack of high-level facilities has been blamed for the shrinking number of Ontario athletes who make Canada's Olympic teams.

Ontarians used to comprise more than half of the county's Olympic teams, and now it's less than 25 per cent.

After several failed bids, including one for the 2008 Summer Olympics, Toronto is hoping this one will finally put the region on the podium.

Leading a regional bid, supported by the federal and provincial governments, Toronto wants to host the games, which bring together athletes from 42 countries across the Americas and the Caribbean every four years. It will be touted as a Toronto bid internationally, but the event will span the Golden Horseshoe, with venues dotted across the region. Hamilton is expected to play a role.

Of the $1.77 billion bid, $500 million will come from the federal government, with Queen's Park promising to pick up any shortfall. Cities would be expected to contribute a share toward construction if a new facility is built in their municipality.

Peterson won't tip his hand about which cities will host which sports, including those popular with spectators such as track and field, swimming and gymnastics.

Many cities are vying for venues, especially Hamilton, which is eager for funds to refurbish the aging Ivor Wynne Stadium, now home to the CFL's Tiger-Cats.

However, the opening and closing ceremonies would be in Toronto, likely at the Rogers Centre. Other venues would probably include the Air Canada Centre, BMO Field and the trade centre at Exhibition Place. The key question is where to put the athletes' village. Organizers want to ensure there is proximity to competition sites, preferably through transit links.

It is possible that existing university residences could be used, or a new facility would be built that could be turned into affordable housing after the games.

Southern Ontario is competing against Bogota, Colombia, and Lima, Peru. Submissions with the technical details including venue locations are due at the end of April.

An international evaluation team is expected to visit all three cities to conduct an assessment.

The final decision by the Pan American Sports Organization Association is expected in late summer or early fall.

All 42 nations have one vote, but those who have hosted a previous Pan Am Games get an additional vote, including Canada. In all, there are 52 votes.

Peterson and Pike, former publisher of the Hamilton Spectator, will travel to meetings of Caribbean and Central American Olympic committees in January to push Toronto's bid.

For the Canadian Olympic Committee, an enthusiastic supporter of the bid, the priority is creating a sports institute that can focus on athlete development. That means bringing together, under one roof, training facilities for several sports plus researchers and medical support like physicians, physiotherapists and psychologists.

"We have nothing that approaches that, other than a passion and will to succeed," said Chris Rudge, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee. "If you have it, you end up with high-performing athletes, training together, feeding off each other. It's a crucible for learning."

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'd like Bogota to win either in 2015 or in the future.

They have made tremendous strides in turning their city around. They faced major transport and urban decay problems and turned things around for good. They are a great model for many cities with similar problems.

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City in hot pursuit

Pan Am velodrome would make Hamilton Canada's cycling centre With Hamilton's natural attributes, the escarpment and plenty of rural routes, Andrew Iler feels Hamilton could be Canada's premier cycling centre of excellence.

January 10, 2009

John Kernaghan

The Hamilton Spectator


Many stars need to align, but Hamilton has a shot at becoming a very big wheel in global cycling circles.

A world-class velodrome proposed for the 2015 Pan Am Games bid by the Canadian Cycling Centre Hamilton would be the only international-standard indoor track in North America east of Los Angeles.

Hamilton lawyer Andrew Iler has put the pedal to the metal on the initiative with a feasibility study/business plan that will be unveiled soon. Iler, an avid cyclist who is president of the cycling centre based at McMaster University, is in Manchester this weekend putting the final touches on his research.

Manchester's velodrome is home to England's national cycling centre, a node that is responsible for that nation's rapid rise to 13 medals, eight of them gold, at last summer's Olympics.

Proponents argue such a facility here would be a logical extension of Hamilton's triumph in staging the 2003 road world championships and building on the cycling centre at Mac, which was a legacy of those races.

The Hamilton-based National Cycling Centre is one of five high-performance centres in Canada under the Canadian Cycling Association. It provides coaching for elite athletes, runs youth programs and organizes training camps in conjunction with the Ontario Cycling Association.

And with Hamilton's natural attributes, the escarpment and plenty of rural routes, Iler feels Hamilton could be Canada's premier cycling centre of excellence.

After all, the current Hamilton centre has complimentary sports science and sports medicine expertise at its finger tips at Mac.

But Iler is acutely aware of the general view of velodromes, especially in light of the fate of the one built for the Montreal Olympics in 1976.

"We plan to propose a facility that can host events from local recreational cycling to the Pan Am Games and the Olympics," he says.

But it can't be the gold-plated $150-million kind in London for the 2012 Olympics or Glasgow's 2014 Commonwealth Games velodrome.

The Montreal track became known as a white elephant and was eventually converted into a biodome with indoor zoo.

Iler has an animal of different stripes in mind, a functional facility that will have legs in terms of legacy.

"Integration with the community through connections with recreational and school programs is very important."

He said while a velodrome with, say 3,000 seats, would be built for the Pan Am Games, it can't be operated solely as an elite training centre.

Rather, he turns the equation around, noting the facility plus lots of recreational use, especially by children, equals more and more elite athletes Hamilton can send around the world. The experience in Manchester and the Lehigh Valley Cycling Centre in Trexeltown, Pa., which has a large 333-metre outdoor track, is that the kids programs spawn athletes who move to other cycling disciplines, like road, mountain and BMX.

Iler believes the same thing would happen here.

The model that is working for the Forest City Velodrome in London, Ont. is encouraging.

The non-for-profit operation needs about four members on the recreational side for each competitor. The tiny track draws cyclists from as far away as New York and Chicago to participate in training camps.

"We're here for people to have fun," says Forest City principal Rob Good. "We're here for the kids, the competitors and if someone says 'I'm not a racer, that's cool, we have a program for rec riders."

Good said he quit cycling at 21 because it was solely a competitive game. Now he's helping the young at heart stay in the activity.

"We built it and they came. Now it is a big adult recreational pursuit, with 80 per cent of our membership riding for fun. We'd go broke without them."

But to host a major event, a minimum 250-metre track is required.

The Hamilton plan will have plenty of barriers to leap.

First, will the 2015 Toronto bid staff recommend a temporary or permanent velodrome?

Hamilton's contact with the 2015 staff, Tourism Hamilton executive director David Adames, hopes the city gets to put Iler's proposal to an as yet unnamed bid board.

But Adames notes the city could well have competition for what would be a jewel of the 2015 Games. Curt Harnett, the Olympic and Pan Am track cycling star, has been approached by two groups asking for advice, but declined to name them.

But Vaughn and Markham in York Region consistently bubble up in amateur sports circles.

Harnett hopes for a permanent facility anywhere in the Golden Horseshoe area, but says access to specialists in sports science and sports medicine is a key to making the elite aspect work.

He notes it would take a six- to eight-year ramp-up period for a new facility to begin producing world-class athletes.

While recreational use is important, what sparked the Canadian Olympic Committee to designate southern Ontario for the bid is the absence of first-class places to train in Canada's most populous area.

Canadian Cycling Association president John Tolkamp said a velodrome in the Golden Horseshoe area would help kick-start the sport in Canada.

And Ontario Cycling Association executive director Jim Crosscombe is excited by the prospect, but points out his organization hasn't been consulted by Toronto 2015 staff yet.

"It's been surprisingly quiet."

Over in England it has been almost $90 million Cdn. loud in the past month. Sparked by the country's Olympic success and with an eye to 2012, Sport England and the national lottery organization committed about $45 million each to Olympic preparation and grass roots cycling.

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