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MisterSG1

The Toronto Scam Am Games

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As we know, most of us would want the Olympics one day in Toronto, but the example the Pan American Games is leading is not a good one. What I mean is that the public isn't taking too lightly to this.

Let's look at what a fiasco this has become:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/pan-am-games-security-now-expected-to-cost-239m-1.2558569

Security costs are $239 Million??? Why on earth do they cost this much? Can the organizers understand that THIS IS NOT THE OLYMPICS? Think about this for a second, do not try to defend it, the price tag of this is unreasonable. Most people in Toronto and the GTA I'm willing to bet haven't even heard of the Pan American Games until the bid was awarded. If a figure of around 75% of people within Toronto oppose the Pan American games, how will the public EVER support the Olympics?

Also, the transportation plan is but a joke:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/pan-am-officials-want-local-traffic-cut-20-during-games-1.2572698

Are you kidding me, this elitism is sickening. I don't even have to delve into all busy our freeways already are in the region. Mississauga has but three lanes in either direction in their stretch of the QEW, are you telling me that lane capacity will be reduced by 33%. That 33% of traffic that uses the road will still need to get where they are going, you may just create a 33% longer commuting time. HOV lanes are grossly unfair, I understand a lot of cities use them, but how we do it here in Ontario arguably makes the problem worse. Also consider, the HOV lane can only be used properly if two co-workers both start around the same time and live close to each other. Also remember that HOV lane users will have to "bounce" all the way across the road to get off the road. HOV lanes may be better off being called "Family Lanes". It honestly makes me sick for them to make Pan Am lanes in all the traffic chokepoints in the city. Like by the Ford Plant on the QEW or beyond Salem Road on the 401, Think about this, at Salem road, you will now have 4 general lanes that condense into 2, a 50% loss of road space. The 401 is a massive commercial truck route, it can easily be said that there will be absolutely no economic gain from this.

I understand that Olympic Lanes are designated during the Olympics, but again. THIS IS NOT THE OLYMPICS. No one really cares at all about this event. The Gold Medal winning time in the 100m was in the 10s, that just shows you the kind of B-class event this is. I do not trust anything our government does, and my honest fear is that these Pan Am lanes will permanently be changed to HOV lanes as this is the foot in the door for this to happen.

Again no one seems to beleive me but this may be the metaphorical nail in the coffin that stops Toronto from ever getting the Olympics. Because there will be absolutely zero support for the Olympics the way this fiasco has been turning out.

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The security costs don't seem too bad to me. Yes the Pan-Ams are smaller than the Olympics, but London 2012's security costs were over four times that (assuming a .54 conversion rate of Canadian dollars to pounds.) Once you factor in inflation that doesn't seem unreasonable.

And the Olympics shut down roads (or at least lanes on roads) rather than asking for a temporary reduction in traffic.

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As we know, most of us would want the Olympics one day in Toronto, but the example the Pan American Games is leading is not a good one. What I mean is that the public isn't taking too lightly to this.

Let's look at what a fiasco this has become:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/pan-am-games-security-now-expected-to-cost-239m-1.2558569

Security costs are $239 Million??? Why on earth do they cost this much? Can the organizers understand that THIS IS NOT THE OLYMPICS? Think about this for a second, do not try to defend it, the price tag of this is unreasonable. Most people in Toronto and the GTA I'm willing to bet haven't even heard of the Pan American Games until the bid was awarded. If a figure of around 75% of people within Toronto oppose the Pan American games, how will the public EVER support the Olympics?

Also, the transportation plan is but a joke:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/pan-am-officials-want-local-traffic-cut-20-during-games-1.2572698

Are you kidding me, this elitism is sickening. I don't even have to delve into all busy our freeways already are in the region. Mississauga has but three lanes in either direction in their stretch of the QEW, are you telling me that lane capacity will be reduced by 33%. That 33% of traffic that uses the road will still need to get where they are going, you may just create a 33% longer commuting time. HOV lanes are grossly unfair, I understand a lot of cities use them, but how we do it here in Ontario arguably makes the problem worse. Also consider, the HOV lane can only be used properly if two co-workers both start around the same time and live close to each other. Also remember that HOV lane users will have to "bounce" all the way across the road to get off the road. HOV lanes may be better off being called "Family Lanes". It honestly makes me sick for them to make Pan Am lanes in all the traffic chokepoints in the city. Like by the Ford Plant on the QEW or beyond Salem Road on the 401, Think about this, at Salem road, you will now have 4 general lanes that condense into 2, a 50% loss of road space. The 401 is a massive commercial truck route, it can easily be said that there will be absolutely no economic gain from this.

I understand that Olympic Lanes are designated during the Olympics, but again. THIS IS NOT THE OLYMPICS. No one really cares at all about this event. The Gold Medal winning time in the 100m was in the 10s, that just shows you the kind of B-class event this is. I do not trust anything our government does, and my honest fear is that these Pan Am lanes will permanently be changed to HOV lanes as this is the foot in the door for this to happen.

Again no one seems to beleive me but this may be the metaphorical nail in the coffin that stops Toronto from ever getting the Olympics. Because there will be absolutely zero support for the Olympics the way this fiasco has been turning out.

Look who's back, back again...A TROLL! I'm sure 75% of this is BS.

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Well, a proper poll has not been done, but I challenge you. Go out and ask the citizens of Toronto and the rest of the GTA and about the Pan American Games and ask if they support it or not. I gave articles from the CBC, and look at what the comments on those articles state. Yes, those people who write comments are real people, and can be represented as citizens as to what the public thinks about this. Congestion, and that's all forms, traffic congestion, overcrowding of transit vehicles is a serious problem in Toronto/GTA.

You could at least touch on my points which you know are outrageous for a Pan American Games, instead of my estimation of 75% of people being against it. But again, read those comments on those CBC articles, and just tell me how many comments you see supporting the Pan Am games.

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Yes I am back after my long absence. So who was right in the end? These games have been nothing but disaster and we can practically kiss all hopes of an Olympic Bid behind. But why's that to matter, these HOV lanes appear to be a giant science experiment of social engineering. Think about it, if no one cares about these games, why do they have to close lanes down that the taxpayer finances for these elites. It's absolutely sickening.

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Yes I am back after my long absence. So who was right in the end? These games have been nothing but disaster and we can practically kiss all hopes of an Olympic Bid behind. But why's that to matter, these HOV lanes appear to be a giant science experiment of social engineering. Think about it, if no one cares about these games, why do they have to close lanes down that the taxpayer finances for these elites. It's absolutely sickening.

The Canadian media has been fear mongering and focusing on the negatives only, that is what is sickening.

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That's the media...that's what they do. How many papers have been sold by positive headlines? Come back on the 27th & see what Toronto/Canada thinks.

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The Canadian media has been fear mongering and focusing on the negatives only, that is what is sickening.

Really? News here in Brazil about Toronto 2015 are such a breeze... Last week SporTV aired a special about Toronto PanAms and of course they showed a few journalists with some reasonable concerns but the consensus is that Toronto will run a smooth games in a turbulent year for PASO.

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Really? News here in Brazil about Toronto 2015 are such a breeze... Last week SporTV aired a special about Toronto PanAms and of course they showed a few journalists with some reasonable concerns but the consensus is that Toronto will run a smooth games in a turbulent year for PASO.

What were the concerns?

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Yes I am back after my long absence. So who was right in the end? These games have been nothing but disaster and we can practically kiss all hopes of an Olympic Bid behind. But why's that to matter, these HOV lanes appear to be a giant science experiment of social engineering. Think about it, if no one cares about these games, why do they have to close lanes down that the taxpayer finances for these elites. It's absolutely sickening.

The reserved lanes are used to make sure athletes can get to their events on time. They are a major traffic problem for residents, but they would be for the Olympics as well.

Mega sporting events have never made money. But this event is not going to be an economic disaster like Montreal's Olympics. Ultimately I think the Pan-American Games do a good job of balancing the needs of athletes vs the needs of the community. There will some temporary irritations like the reserved lanes of traffic. But Toronto is not going to be plunged into multigenerational debt or be left with a lot of useless venues that are expensive to maintain.

I would wait until after the event is over before saying that no one cares about them. Let's see how the people of Toronto respond to the event first before saying it was a disaster.

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The usual: the bill, and traffic overload during the games. You can see one interview with this upset lady of the Toronto Sun here: http://sportv.globo.com/videos/momento-pan/t/momento-pan/v/imprensa-do-canada-critica-o-alto-custo-das-obras-dos-jogos-pan-americanos-de-toronto/4201677/

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LOL they interview Sue anne Levy the biggest idiot in news writing in this city.

She is so clueless its funny. The village was never in the tab. It was always 1.4 billion + the village as the cost.

Transit unfortunately will be a disaster imo.

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Just came here to say hello to MisterSG1, who's totally not a proxy of Throne.

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The public apathy issue always amuses me when they say only X% support the Games. They do not realize that the majority of people are not sports fans. Every time the NFL brags about 110 million Americans watching the Super Bowl, they never mention the 200 million who did not. If sports are not your thing, then of course this is just going to be one giant, expensive inconvenience.

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Just to clarify, before I go to bed and try to sleep through the fireworks still going off here for the Fourth of July. . .

It's not fair to say that all sporting events must not lose money. Public spending on the arts loses money. So should we abolish ballet, sculpture and art museums? The problem with the current state of the Olympics is that they cannot be funded from a normal government budget for sport, and cost so much that countries have to sacrifice education, healthcare and transportation spending to host the Olympics, the World Cup, etc.

The Pan American Games are a correctly scaled event. They are about as lavish as the Olympics were from 1900-1932 before Hitler touched them in 1936 and turned them into nationalist theater. They are not as gigantic and globally visible as the Olympics, but in many ways that is a good thing. The Pan-American Games will give the Canadian public a chance to see their athletes perform in person and leave behind sensible venues that integrate well into the community. The expense will not be ruinous and there will be no (or at least very few) white elephants.

Consider that the cost for Toronto to build one stadium for the World Cup final would likely be comparable to the cost of all sporting venues built for the Pan American Games. Meanwhile Toronto doesn't need a 70,000 capacity football stadium.

Edited by Nacre

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Actually security below 300 million seems quite reasonable for an event of this size. From memory Melbourne's 2006 Commonwealth Games security was higher than this.

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It does show just how much of a black hole security is though doesn't it? I mean even if that is 'reasonable' in this day and age that's A LOT of money with no legacy.

But that's the way of the World sadly. We can't not do these events out of fear, but we have to protect them.

Edited by Rob.

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Actually security below 300 million seems quite reasonable for an event of this size. From memory Melbourne's 2006 Commonwealth Games security was higher than this.

I would love to see an accounting of that. $300 million only seems non-crazy because other events also spend a lot. But what the heck is that money being spent on??? I suspect somebody out there is getting very rich (or government branches are getting massive funding) by convincing governments that this level of spending is necessary and rational.

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Just to clarify, before I go to bed and try to sleep through the fireworks still going off here for the Fourth of July. . .

It's not fair to say that all sporting events must not lose money. Public spending on the arts loses money. So should we abolish ballet, sculpture and art museums? The problem with the current state of the Olympics is that they cannot be funded from a normal government budget for sport, and cost so much that countries have to sacrifice education, healthcare and transportation spending to host the Olympics, the World Cup, etc.

The Pan American Games are a correctly scaled event. They are about as lavish as the Olympics were from 1900-1932 before Hitler touched them in 1936 and turned them into nationalist theater. They are not as gigantic and globally visible as the Olympics, but in many ways that is a good thing. The Pan-American Games will give the Canadian public a chance to see their athletes perform in person and leave behind sensible venues that integrate well into the community. The expense will not be ruinous and there will be no (or at least very few) white elephants.

Consider that the cost for Toronto to build one stadium for the World Cup final would likely be comparable to the cost of all sporting venues built for the Pan American Games. Meanwhile Toronto doesn't need a 70,000 capacity football stadium.

Integrate well with the communities? Let's see, we have the velodrome in Milton literally in the middle of nowhere? I was kind of shocked where it was to be honest. However, I do admit, the velodrome will actually be used and that is a positive.

As for the Olympic Swimming pool in Scarborough at Morningside and the 401, the public can't easily use it like they can with any other public pool. The aquatics centre will belong to the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus after the games, and to even use that pool yourself will require a hefty membership. It's not like the Etobicoke Olympium which was I believe constructed for the 1976 Paralympics in Toronto, where it belongs to the city, and one can pay a small fee to use it.

As for the World Cup, a 70,000 seat stadium really only works in conjunction with the National Football League having a franchise in Toronto, but I won't go there right now, as there is a LOT of politics about the NFL in Canada. Despite the NFL with the current millennial generation easily being WAY more popular than the CFL in the GTA at least, the CFL is seem by some as a backbone in Canadian sovereignty. But as I said, I will not go there right now. While I would love to see the Blue Jays get a real outdoor ballpark someday, I've always imagined that an NFL stadium in Toronto should be indoors like Detroit's or Minnesota's..

But people are ignoring the real fact of events like this, look at the pickle that they find themselves in Greece right now. Some even go as far as saying that the Athens Olympics in 2004 started all this mess. Just a few elitists get rich while hosing the taxpayers and the city (for many) becomes a place for people to avoid during the games period. The reason I support an olympic bid in Toronto ironically is because of the transportation infrastructure that Ottawa will throw at Toronto for once. Vancouver for the much smaller winter games got a brand new rapid transit line paid for by Ottawa, to their airport too. The last significant subway extension in Toronto occured in 1978, and other than the subway extension that is currently underway to Vaughan, all what is on their radar is the much inferior LRT, but again this is another issue altogether. Network 2011 was proposed in the 1980s and would have given Eglinton, and Sheppard, as well as another Downtown line, funny how these projects, although cancelled by one government, a much inferior project is cooked up by a new government.

As for this event, it has an outrageous price tag, and will we even see Usain Bolt run at the York U stadium? Of course not. Will the winning time in the 100m be under 10 seconds, probably not. Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin will not be competing at the new pool in Scarborough. Andrew Wiggins who was drafted first overall in the NBA and is from the GTA is not playing for the men's basketball team. I could go on but you see my point.

I'd say that these games could have been realistically done for $200 million, and even then I would think that is too much, but just take a good luck at Ontario's Sunshine List, a government list that discloses all public servants in Ontario who make over $100,000, you will find MANY who have to do with the Pan American Games on this list. Again, this is why none of us in this city want this event, although I am a heavy watcher of the Olympics, this entire event costs a fortune for a province that isn't exactly in good shape economically.

The HOV restrictions, (mind you they go down to 2+ people to use an HOV lane at the end of the Pan Am games) are in effect from basically now until the middle of August. I guess we can kiss Summer of 2015 goodbye in the city of Toronto as getting into the city is a lot more difficult than it needs to be.

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I would love to see an accounting of that. $300 million only seems non-crazy because other events also spend a lot. But what the heck is that money being spent on??? I suspect somebody out there is getting very rich (or government branches are getting massive funding) by convincing governments that this level of spending is necessary and rational.

The problem is the need to hire thousands of specialized staff for a one time event. Hiring temporary street sweepers or concessions workers isn't a problem because anyone can do that job. But no city has thousands of unemployed security personnel, so the staff either have to be trained for months or lured from other regions and housed in hotels or cruise ships. Either way it is expensive.

I do agree that we have probably gone too far, though. Athens had 45,000 total security personnel. London had 40,000 total security personnel. Sochi had something between 50,000 and 100,000.

For some reason I am not able to quote two people in one post ATM. Anyway, this is in reponse to MisterSG1:

As you say, the venues are going to go where they are wanted. That's what I mean when I say they will be integrated in the local community. They are designed with local use in mind, instead of doing crazy things like building a big stadium in the middle of the Amazon rainforest or sticking Athens with a tennis stadium that won't have an annual tournament to be played there.

The top athletes that won't show up are mostly highly paid athletes that don't want to risk injury outside of their normal team or tour. I am guessing that all of the other top Canadian athletes will appear. It's usually tough to get tickets to see more in demand events anyway, though, so even if Toronto hosted the Summer Olympics you would probably only be able to get tickets to see Canada's top rowers, cyclists, etc anyway.

If you add up all of the positive and negative economic effects, Toronto probably stands to lose $150-250 million CAD by hosting this event. I am not saying that they should jump at the chance to lose money. But that is at least a defensible loss if Toronto wants to host major international events. It's much less of a loss than what the city would have to eat if it hosted the IAAF (track and field) World Championships (assuming they built a new stadium) or the FINA Aquatics World Championships.

If you don't want Toronto to host any major international events like this, then I understand your point. But compared to almost any other major event the city could host, this is a very financially reasonable one.

Edited by Nacre

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the CFL is seem by some as a backbone in Canadian sovereignty

I put the over/under at three

so the staff either have to be trained for months

Months? Really? I have no doubt the security "experts" running security training schools and firms agree with you.

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Months? Really? I have no doubt the security "experts" running security training schools and firms agree with you.

Sorry. I meant to type weeks. That's the trouble with my brain; my train of thought was running in a tangent about how the more advanced personnel would need much longer training than the basic personnel.

Anyway, training 5,000 people to be security guards would likely cost about $20-30 million, so I am not sure there is much to be gained by going that route. Then you still have to recruit them, run background checks, provide them with equipment, pay their wages during the event itself, etc. And then you have to find a way to hire the more heavily trained people: officers with bomb sniffing dogs, "response teams", etc.

I just don't see any way to provide an ironclad ring of security cheaply. We either need to be willing to accept great risk or great cost.

Edited by Nacre

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