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The TORONTO 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Torch Relays (“Torch Relays”) for the Pan Am Games is a 41-day journey that will share the Pan Am spirit in more than 130 communities. Deeply rooted in history and tradition, the Pan Am flame will be lit in May, 2015, during a traditional ceremony in Teotihuacan, Mexico before it travels to Canada. The Torch relay commences in Canada on May 30, 2015 and will make its final stop on July 10, 2015 at the Opening Ceremony of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games.

Pan American Torch Relay:

• May 30 – July 10, 2015

• 41 days

• 3,000 Torchbearers

• 5,000+ kilometers on the road

• 15,000+ kilometers in the air

• Visiting more than 130 communities

• Alternative modes of transportation including plane, train and ferry boat

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Argos on the outs in BMO Field dispute between MLSE and federal government

The future of the CFL in Toronto has been thrown into renewed turmoil after a backroom fight between Ottawa and the country’s largest sports concern.

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment – owner of the Leafs, Raptors and Toronto FC – has cancelled plans to include the Toronto Argonauts in their renovation of BMO Field.

As of 2018, this would leave one of the continent’s most historic sports franchises without a venue in which to play. Right now, they are caught in a next-level bargaining war between two much bigger players.

As ever, the issue is money.

MLSE had planned a phased, two-year renovation costing $120 million. They had hoped for financial help from all levels of government. That was to include a $10 million loan from the city, and $10 million grants from each of the provincial and federal governments.

As part of that agreement, room would be made to accommodate the larger dimensions of the CFL playing surface, as well as a promise to buy the flagging football team.

However, long after public announcements were made, Ottawa has yet to sign off on its part of the expenditure. Their apparent problem – the optics of funding sports stadiums.

MLSE provided several fig leaves to give the government cover – including parceling the money into grants for expected big events like the Winter Classic and the Grey Cup, planned for BMO Field.

MLSE argued that the construction taxes alone – an anticipated $18-million – made the deal watertight politically. The feds thought otherwise, and continued to delay.

As Ottawa dithered, MLSE lost patience. They will now go ahead without the federal money and, as a direct result, without the Argos.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver, who is also the federal minister responsible for the Greater Toronto Area, would not say Tuesday whether Ottawa has closed the door on funding an expansion of the field.

“I don’t want to make a direct comment on that,” he said in response to a question at a news conference in Ottawa. Mr. Oliver noted that the government has a multi-billion dollar infrastructure plan that includes a significant amount of funds that are dedicated for Ontario.

“We’ll be making decisions on a case by case basis,” he said.

The new 10-year Building Canada Plan for infrastructure was first announced in the 2013 budget as a replacement for a previous seven year fund that has expired. The roughly $47.5-billion plan includes a $14-billion Building Canada Fund, with $4-billion going toward “national infrastructure” and the rest being divided amongst the provinces. The larger plan also includes the federal gas tax transfers that go directly to municipalities and a $1.2-billion P3 Canada Fund for public-private partnerships.

The new federal fund officially launched this year but municipalities have complained that the application rules are not clear and that the money is not being allocated quickly enough.

On Monday, the federal government made its first spending announcement from the new fund with a $150-million pledge toward expanding Light Rail Transit in Edmonton.

Vincent Rabault, a spokesperson for Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel, said in an email that the government does not fund professional sport infrastructure.

“That being said, amateur sport infrastructure is now eligible for funding under the Gas Tax Fund,” he said.

While Ottawa ponders, MLSE has had new architectural plans drawn.

A $120-million reno becomes a $100-million one. The arena will be rebuilt to its current dimensions, meaning there will be no north-south extension and no room for football end zones. Ground will be broken in September.

The city is expected to sign off on the revised, soccer-only plan. MLSE has received assurances that the province will do likewise if the Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne survives a June 12th election. Wynne currently leads in the polls.

The decision has several roll-on effects.

Since there is no suitable alternative, it puts the Rogers Centre back in play as a football venue. That, in turn, creates a logistical problem for the arena’s plans to move to a grass field for baseball. The Argos were asked to leave at the end of the 2017 season because football is too hard on indoor grass.

It also ends MLSE’s interest in buying the Argos, putting them back on the market.

The Argos would not respond to requests for comment, instead acknowledging in a statement that what had been on – a move to BMO – is now off.

“(W)e continue to work closely with MLSE on a variety of opportunities of mutual interest and benefit and look forward to the eventual resolution of the funding challenges that impact their plans to renovate and modify BMO Field.”

Translation: Without federal and provincial money, we’ve got a serious problem.

Within much of the MLSE hierarchy, buying the CFL team was seen as a favour being done in return for the opportunity to service the fans of Toronto FC. Without federal co-operation, no one feels the need to do any more favours.

It goes deeper than that. There is the strong sense within MLSE that Ottawa has let them off the hook. Supporters of the soccer club were deeply opposed to lengthening the field to accommodate the CFL. MLSE now gets to serve its base without taking the blame for a failed plan.

One voice within the corporation that will feel aggrieved is MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum. The minority owner is still on the hunt for an NFL franchise, possibly the Buffalo Bills. That team is in legal limbo following the death of founder Ralph Wilson, but is expected to hit the auction block in coming months.

While intrigued by the north-of-49 possibilities, the NFL does not want to be seen as undermining Canadian football. The league has made it clear that, if they were to allow a move to Toronto, they would prefer the prospective new owner also be in control of the Argonauts. As they see it, one owner for both teams guarantees the CFL’s long-term survival in Canada’s largest market.

Those are a great many reasons to find some sort of compromise, which MLSE has already provided on the back end.

BMO Field Renovation 2.0 is reversible. The north section of the structure will remain open, using only temporary stands, meaning that the arena can be adapted for the CFL at some future point.

That will now require the promised $10-million in federal money (easy to give) and a very public capitulation from Ottawa (somewhat more difficult).

In the end, this is no end at all. Instead, it is a shotgun clause by alternate means.

All this proving again that the business of sport is usually a good deal rougher than the playing of it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Countdown is on -- One Year to the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games!

Two-day festival to celebrate Games at Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square with countdown clock unveiling, athletes, free concerts and fireworks

TORONTO, June 5, 2014 /CNW/ - Nathan Phillips Square will come alive with exciting free programming from Friday, July 11 to Saturday, July 12 as we kick off celebrations marking one year to go until the start of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games.

Soca superstar Machel Montano, direct from Trinidad, will electrify the crowds Friday as part of PANAMANIA, presented by CIBC, along with Dwayne D' Bandit Pitt and Dr. Jay de Socaprince. The next day, Venezuelan-bornToronto Raptors star Greivis Vasquez will be on hand ready to give coaching tips on the three-point shot.

The festival will begin Friday at noon with the unveiling of the state-of-the-art Cisco TORONTO 2015 Countdown Clock. Cisco is a Premier Partner and the Official Information and Communications Technology Provider for theTORONTO 2015 Games.

"For two days, the heart of downtown TorontoNathan Phillips Square — will transform into what the TORONTO2015 Games is all about: an incredible celebration of sport and culture," said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer of theTORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).

"Toronto is a world-class city full of first-class people who come out and cheer on their sport teams and their city," said Greivis Vasquez of the Toronto Raptors. "I am so excited to help kick off the one year countdown to theTORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. It's a way for me to give back to this unbelievable city that has become a true home for me and my family and given us so much. I am so thankful to have this opportunity and can't wait to help celebrate with all of you."

Machel Montano, who is also taking part in a concert at the United Nations this month, added: "The 2015 Pan Am Games will spark a wave of positive energy, connecting the diverse community of athletes, artists and spectators participating. I am incredibly excited to bring the HD band to Toronto to help kick off the festivities and spread peace, love and unity from Trinidad to Toronto and the world."

The celebration site and all activities are designed to be accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

Want more?

Meet multiple gold medallists Rosie MacLennan (trampoline), Heather Moyse (rugby sevens, cycling and bobsleigh) and Benoît Huot (aquatics) among many other stellar athletes participating in the sports demonstrations and mini-competitions over the two-day festival.

CIBC, the Lead Partner of the Games, together with CIBC Team Next athletes, will be on hand to mark the occasion with an exciting new venture to make sport more accessible for youth across Canada.

Stay tuned for our Saturday, July 12 headliner — to be announced later this month — who will close out the celebrations. Also performing that night will be the legendary Cuban dance band Los Van Van, now celebrating its45th year filling stadiums around the world.

For more information, including times and details on performers in Toronto, as well as additional one-year countdown celebrations taking place in municipalities throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, please visitTORONTO2015.org/one-year; visit Facebook at facebook.com/Toronto2015 and Twitter at @TO2015, #TO2015 and #WeArePanAm.

About TO2015

The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is tasked with the responsibility of planning, managing and delivering the Games. Its mission is to ignite the spirit through a celebration of sport and culture. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10–26 and the Parapan American Games August 7–15.

The TORONTO 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as other partners and sponsors. CIBC is the Lead Partner of the Games.

For more information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org.

SOURCE Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

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-75 per cent of tickets priced $45 and under.

-Pan Am Games tickets for public sale starting fall 2014. Parapan Am Games tickets will be available for public sale starting spring 2015.

-Pan Am Games Public Sales — Ticket Request and Lottery The first public ticket release will be a ticket request and lottery process for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games and will be designed to give everyone a fair and even chance of getting their preferred tickets. Ticket requests will start in fall 2014. There is no incentive to submit your request early. No orders will be processed until after the request phase ends. Once requests close, if there are enough tickets available in the session you've selected, your request will be processed and you will receive the tickets you ordered. Should demand exceed capacity for any given session, a fair and simple lottery will occur from all of the ticket requests received for that session. This ensures the ticketing process is fair and equitable to all applicants. If your request is successful, you will not be able to change the amount of tickets you ordered. Pan Am Games Public Sales — General Sales Tickets for the Pan Am Games will go on sale on a first-come, first-served basis through Games time once the ticket request and lottery phases have been completed and customers are informed of the ticket(s) they have successfully purchased from the request phase.


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If the cultural experience is the gateway to a higher profile, and therefore a hotter ticket, for soccer in this city, a potential change in Pan Am tournament logistics would be a big help. It would mean a greater beyond-the-matches soccer presence in Hamilton during the Pan Am fortnight.

Originally, the soccer tournament was designed as a parachute-in event. Athletes and support staff would stay at the central Athletes Village in Toronto's east end and commute to Hamilton for their matches.

But international soccer officials are concerned about the travel time and rigors. So it's entirely possible, gusting up to likely, that a satellite village will be set up at McMaster. You'd then have teams and staff living here, eating their meals here, exploring the city to some degree and travelling from the west end of the city to the east for matches. Their presence and influence would not be limited to a couple of hours inside the stadium.

"Mac is one of the options we've been considering, not only for athletes, but for technical officials, as well," Toronto 2015 spokesperson Teddy Katz confirms. "But nothing has been decided yet. All options remain on the table."


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magma architecture has revealed the design for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Game sport shooting venue. The jagged upper edge of the outer perimeter wall is reminiscent of the Canadian national emblem: the maple leaf.

Symptomatic for magma architecture there is a firm technical rationale behind the form finding: it was driven by geometrical investigation into all possible ballistic trajectories. Any excess planes not required to contain projectiles were cut away from the façade resulting in the dynamic and distinctive outer appearance of the building. Martin Ostermann, co-founder of magma architecture, explains: “Our sustainability strategy was to shrink the building fabric to the minimum to reduce the need for material application.”

Two 65m long façades cover a fully enclosed 10 m shooting range on the top level forming a canopy for the firing line below. On the lower level they screen the combined 25 and 50 m outdoor field of play. The façade is constructed from low-priced and widely used H2 utility poles with an Indian summer orange stain. The building is an addition to the Toronto International Trap & Skeet Club in the forest near Cookstown, Ontario. Completion is scheduled for early 2015. After the Games it will become the first training facility for Canada’s top shooting athletes in the pistol, rifle and shotgun disciplines.

magma architecture designed the award winning London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Shooting Arenas. The Berlin based practice is internationally known for visionary landmark buildings, spectacular temporary structures and expressive interiors in the cultural, commercial and sports sectors.



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I can't believe we're only 1 year away. It honestly hasn't felt like all this time has gone by since we won the bid.

Here are some video reports about the 1 year countdown.

This one shows the construction going on in the Aquatics Centre. This venue is looking great.






Edited by dave199
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Booked a hotel room in Mississauga for the first week of the Games. Hopefully nothing comes up that would force us to change our plans.

Nice! Mississauga is hosting wrestling and judo in the first week. BMX cycling is also near by on the first Saturday of the games.

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I haven't decided what events I'm going to request tickets for but I'm definitely going to try and get tickets to the Opening Ceremony and Aquatic events.

Booked a hotel room in Mississauga for the first week of the Games. Hopefully nothing comes up that would force us to change our plans.

That's great to hear. Do you plan on renting a car to get around or are you going to rely on our transit?

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