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Competitions will begin on July 7, 2015 (the Tuesday before the Opening Ceremony) with water polo action starting.

Synchro and diving will also have competitions before the OC.

Swimming schedule cut to 5 days.

This is all being done to attract the best possible athletes.

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I have been offered a position as Assistant Venue Press Operations Manager with TO2015 for the Games!

After a day off I was able to reflect on my experience with the games. I was very priviliged to work with the organization and this opened my eyes to what I want to do moving forward. From meeting gre

Cue a Gamesbids Article saying "Bach encourages city of Toronto to bid for the Olympics, says they would host a fantastic Games!"

The Flame lighting ceremony will commence 41 days before the start of the Games (May 29, 2015), in Mexico. The Torch will wind its way through Canada, stopping at four National Cities before arriving in Ontario. There will be community celebrations over the 41 days with more than 2,015 torchbearers. July 10, 2014 TO2015 will announce the torch relay route.


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No they haven't. I believe it will be in the fall.

Exciting! I hope I can plan a trip to Toronto and see the Opening Ceremonies along with a few of the events. I also have a question regarding the 2008 bid: Was the Olympic Waterfront Plan used for these games?

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Exciting! I hope I can plan a trip to Toronto and see the Opening Ceremonies along with a few of the events. I also have a question regarding the 2008 bid: Was the Olympic Waterfront Plan used for these games?

For the Waterfront plan they had three zones (Exhibition Place, Central and the Portlands). Only Exhibition place will be used for sporting events (about 12 sports). The Central Waterfront will only host the OC. The Portlands will host sailing.

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Q and A: The new Pan American/ Parapan Games boss

Saad Rafi is helping to bring the world to Toronto.

The newly-appointed CEO of the 2015 Pan American/ Parapan American Games, Rafi is the main organizational force behind what is expected to become the largest multi-sport games ever held on Canadian soil.

Q: You have joined the Pan American Games organizing committee fairly late in the process, officially taking over from fired CEO Ian Troop in January. What made you want to take on this job so late in the game?

A: Well one of the things I found about these games is that they are really about building the region with 15 municipalities involved as well as the provincial and federal governments and that to me was really exciting and it is something I considered a privilege and an honour to be able to do.

Q: Give me a status update. Are we on schedule 500 days out?

A: I think we are very much on schedule and on point. From an infrastructure and facilities point of view we are on time and in certain cases we are ahead of schedule and essentially on budget as well, which is very, very critical. In terms of games planning we are working very closely with the governing bodies, which are the national Olympic committees, as well as PASO (Pan American Sports Organization) and we now have plans in place for athletes and the venues themselves. The team here has made terrific progress overall.

Q: What kind of games do you want to see the city host?

A: I think the opportunity that presents itself to this region is to kind of reinforce our diverse multicultural nature and our rich cultural heritage while also offering very sophisticated venues. Imagine 250, 000 people coming here and feeling as though they are at home because of our multicultural nature, getting a true experience of the region and then excelling on the field. The other thing I don’t want to lose sight of is creating very accessible games. We are aiming to have 70 to 75 per cent of our tickets under $45 and they will also be very accessible games in that the venues are intimate and you will be close to the athletes and the experience.

Q: One of the major benefits in hosting a major event like this is the opportunity to showcase the city as well as the athletes. Will the organizing committee seize that opportunity?

A: We are working with our cultural partners to do just that. We have commissioned art by Latin American and Caribbean artists, we are going to use Nathan Phillips Square for medal ceremonies every night with live music and different cultural acts there and the various cultural organizations in the Golden Horseshoe will all be featuring Pan-American culture in all sorts of different ways. We really want to provide a cultural and ethnic experience for our visitors and our citizens as well as an athletic one.

Q: What will it be like to be in Toronto in July, 2015? Will these games permeate city life?

A: That is exactly what we are expecting to do. If you are a sports fan you will be able to go to the fan fest area and if you are more of an arts and culture fan you will be able to visit the multitude of museums and galleries in our region as well as the festivals we will be putting on. We are hoping to put on not only the best Pan American Games ever, but something that will be remembered as a huge and exciting festival in this region for years and years to come.

Q: Antidodatly, it doesn’t seem like people are talking about these games yet. Is that a concern for you?

A: It (public interest) has to ramp up for sure, but our unaided awareness is quite high already. It is at 45 per cent and by July we want it to be at 50 per cent. That is quite remarkable for any large multi-sport event. The thing is that like others, and Vancouver was no exception, we tend to turn our minds to things that are closer on the horizon. The planning started four years ago, so it was a five-and-a-half year lead time and right now we are just taking a sort of save the date approach. We want people to save the summer of 2015 and we will be building up the excitement through a series of events that will get people aware of what is coming and get them excited about both the cultural and sporting aspects.

Q: One of the things about an event like the Pan American Games is that it can be a launching pad to other things. In fact, Canadian Olympic Committee President Marcel Aubut said as much the other day when he hinted that Toronto could follow Rio’s model in parlaying a successful Pan American Games into a future Olympic bid. Are you conscious of how much is riding on these games in terms of the city’s ability to host other big events in the future, whether it is an Olympics, a World Cup or something else?

A: When the bid went in it was really all about the Pan Am Games and the Parapan Games and that is my clear and undeterred focus. I will leave to others the question of whether the city should or should not bid. That is not my call and certainly not my focus. My focus has to be and will be on delivering the best (Pan American) Games ever.

Q: What will the legacy of these games be?

A: Well, first there is a sport legacy. We are going to do what Winter Games have done in Canada for summer athletes. We are going to have the first permanent velodrome in Canada, we are going the only multi-sport shooting facility in North America in Innisfil and we are going to have Olympic qualifying calibre pools in Scarborough, so there will be a sport legacy that will help not only help the high-performance athletes of today but those of tomorrow. There will also be an economic legacy. The province has estimated that the GDP in this region will increase by $3.7 billion from 2009 to 2015 and certainly sports tourism is an area that we could take advantage of as well. As I mentioned Innisfil will have this shooting facility in their backyard and they may do three, four, maybe six provincial, national and international events a year that will bring people from all over to the wonderful region that is Innisfil and Whitby/Ajax will have the same opportunity with its baseball and softball facilities. I could go on and on. Lastly, I think there will be a social legacy. As I mentioned earlier, we are really going to celebrate the ethnocultural diversity of this region and when it’s over we will have put in place additional cultural festivals that we can all take part in year after year after year.

Q: The venues for these games basically spread from Oshawa to Welland, so it really is a GTA wide event. What sort of planning is being done to ensure gridlock doesn’t cause chaos for athletes and spectators alike?

A: Having various sites and venues spread out across the region was a conscious decision in the bid and I think a good decision. It allows this region to show that it is made up of many very distinct yet interconnected hubs. Now, whenever something like that takes place one has to be vigilant on the transportation front and the province has taken a leadership role on a strategic framework for transportation and I am encouraged by that. Along with the province, we are also working with each municipality on a local area transportation plan. I feel very good about the cooperation and level of progress that has already been made on that front.

Read more: http://www.cp24.com/news/q-and-a-the-new-pan-american-parapan-games-boss-1.1708899#ixzz2uf50Elk7

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Conference call with TO2015 CEO and executives today at 1:30 p.m.

TORONTO, March 4, 2014 /CNW/ - The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is continuing to track on target with its annual budgetary spending, with almost $1 billion of its $1.4-billionbudget remaining.

TO2015's quarterly financials were reviewed by the Organizing Committee's Audit Committee. Documents outlining its infrastructure budget and quarterly financial graphs covering the fiscal period ending December 31, 2013 (FY 2014, Q3) are available at TORONTO2015.org.

TO2015's senior leadership team will be available to the media at 1:30 p.m. (ET) today. For details on how media can dial in, please see below.

"With 17 months left to go before Games time, TO2015 is continuing to track well against its financial budgetary forecasting. It's steady as we go — with a careful eye always watching for additional efficiencies and best practices," said Saäd Rafi, who took over as chief executive officer of TO2015 on January 6.

In the third quarter, TO2015's operating expenses were $16.9 million and were predominantly spent in the areas of technology, risk management, transportation, sport operation and broadcast. Since inception, the Organizing Committee has spent $100.1 million or 13.1 per cent of its total operations budget of $767 million.

TO2015's total venue construction expenditures for the quarter were $58.4 million, including: $21.6 million for the CIBC Hamilton Pan Am Soccer Stadium, $11.1 million for the Atos Markham Pan Am/Parapan Am Centre, $10.2 million for the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House; $6.9 million for the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium; $5.7 million for the Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome; and the balance on other smaller projects.

Project-to-date venue construction expenditures amounted to $321 million, representing 44 per cent of the total capital budget.

TO2015's overall capital building program is continuing to come in under budget. The $57.5-million positive variance in the capital budget first reported in the November 2012 Quarterly Report remains unchanged.

Other highlights include:

  • An extra day has been added to the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games sport schedule. The start date for the largest Parapan Am Games ever held remains Friday, August 7, 2015, however they will now close on Saturday, August 15, 2015. For more information, visit TORONTO2015.org.

  • TO2015 has added five new corporate sponsors: Premier Partner Atos and Official Suppliers: Allstream, Coca-Cola, Schenker of Canada and CAA South Central Ontario. Additional sponsor announcements are in the works.

  • TO2015 has posted its Q3 summary (ending December 31, 2013) of expense claims for its executive and board of directors at TORONTO2015.org.

  • Three new venues have been confirmed for the Games: Toronto International Trap & Skeet Club (shooting); Planet Bowl (bowling) and Will O' Wind (equestrian cross-country).

  • Currently at 338 employees, TO2015 is continuing to ramp up hiring for Games time with almost 100 anticipated staff yet to be recruited.

  • Since inception, 835 businesses have sold goods and services to TO2015, totaling more than $35.5 million as ofFebruary 28, 2014. Seventy per cent went to businesses operating in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. Of the suppliers used, 182 were diverse suppliers, meaning they are 51 per cent owned by women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities or from the LGBTQ community. Diverse suppliers accounted for $5.1 million in business with TO2015.

  • TO2015 also opened its online store last quarter and announced it had selected five key official licensees through a request for proposals process. The licensees are: Northern Gifts; Trimark Sportswear Group; The Pin People ofRegina; Staples Promotional Products; and, Promotion Resource Group.

  • Since mid-July 2013, TORONTO 2015 Games mascot PACHI the porcupine has attended 203 events, including 90 school visits in southern Ontario, and greeted approximately 53,000 people. His plush likeness is now available in stores and online at TORONTO2015.org.

Enterprise Risk Management

Since mid-2012, TO2015 has implemented a robust enterprise risk management process that is continuing to evolve in preparation for the delivery of the Games.

TO2015 Budget Background

The overall budget for the TORONTO 2015 Games remains unchanged at $1.441 billion. Of the total amount, $674 million is dedicated to a capital budget for new venues and renovating existing facilities and $767 million is dedicated to the operations of staging the Games.

The budget is composed of up to $500 million from the Government of Canada, $500 million from the Government ofOntario, along with $288 million from municipal governments, universities and venue owners and an estimated $153 million raised through sponsorships, ticketing and other revenue measures.

The budget includes the costs of overlay, some essential services and the need for appropriate contingencies for the capital and operating components of the Games. It has been reviewed and confirmed by independent third-party financial experts and by experts in staging large-scale, international, multi-sport events.

In addition to the $674-million capital budget, there are other supportive investments being made. As per the Bid Book, the construction of the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletes' Village, which will be a permanent residential community following the Games, is not included in the TO2015 capital budget.

The construction of the Field House in Markham is funded solely by the City of Markham for $34 million. As announced in 2011, the Province of Ontario is investing an additional $22.3 million in Hamilton's new stadium.

When it announced its budget in May 2012, TO2015 committed to regular updates to the public. Today's Quarterly Report is the sixth in an ongoing series of regular, quarterly organizational updates as the Organizing Committee moves forward to Games time.

Like the Province of Ontario, TO2015's financial reporting follows the fiscal year, which ends March 31, rather than the calendar year, which ends on December 31. This is why the bulk of the Organizing Committee's operating expenses, for example, will be paid in fiscal year 2016; though occurring in the summer of 2015, the Games will take place during the second quarter of fiscal year 2016.

The next Quarterly Report will be released in May 2014 and will cover the final quarter of fiscal 2014.

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Toronto City Council voted in favour of expanding BMO Field on Thursday.

The motion to expand the stadium's capacity passed through by a count of 39-3, with Toronto mayor Rob Ford being among those in opposition.
Currently boasting a capacity of 21,566 for soccer games, the proposed expansion would give the venue the ability to host up to 40,000 for special events.
The motion carries a $10 million cost for the City of Toronto.
The federal and Ontario governments have expressed interest in matching the City's investment in order to provide a total public sector contribution of $30 million, with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment footing the remaining $90 million of the total estimated renovation cost.
MLSE has also agreed to modify the terms of the deal to provide additional revenue to the City of Toronto. The City Finance staff forecasted in a circulated report that "the proposed $10 million investment will be fully recovered from incremental revenues generated during the term of the extended agreement with MLSE."

Sourcehttp://www.tsn.ca/soccer/story/?id=448179

Phase one which is the expansion of seats will be ready for the Pan Am Rugby competition scheduled for July 11-12 2015.

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