No Olympic Bid For Toronto
CBJ – Canada’s largest city will not make a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.
The official announcement was made on Tuesday morning by Toronto Mayor John Tory.
“I believe that one day Toronto will be a great Olympic venue but not in 2024,” Tory told a news conference at city hall. “I am not saying no to the Olympics. I am saying not this time. In the end, it is not my job to be rash but to do the right thing,” he said.
Tory made it clear that he had exhaustive consultations from a wide spectrum of experts, and came to the conclusion that the downside outweighed the upside.
Topping Tory’s concern was a noted lack of corporate enthusiasm and no firm support from the province, which is already mired in a massive debt. Ontario currently has a debt larger than California, despite having just one-third the population base. Potential tier-one sponsors reacted with little more than a corporate shrug of the shoulders when asked if they were interested in being part of the bid.
“Nobody was rushing forward with their chequebooks to hand us their cheques,” Tory said.
Tory also admitted that assembling support from senior governments was complicated with the country in the midst of a federal election.
Marcel Aubut, president of Canadian Olympic Committee, said he accepts Tory’s decision.
“We remain optimistic Toronto could and should host the Olympic Games in the future,” he said in a statement issued soon after Tory’s news conference.
Based on callers giving their opinions on several Toronto talk-radio shows this morning, an overwhelming majority of those callers said they felt Tory made the right decision.
Toronto unsuccessfully bid for the 1996 and 2008 Summer Olympics, and Tory has said he didn’t want to lead a third failed attempt. A municipal study previously estimated bidding alone would have cost between $50 million and $60 million, and hosting the Games would cost between $3 billion and $7 billion, depending on the amount of infrastructure that would be put up and kept beyond the Games.
Los Angeles is now the only North American city in the running to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. Boston also withdrew earlier this year citing costs that were just too exorbitant. The others in the running to host the Games are: Paris, France; Rome, Italy; Budapest, Hungary; and Hamburg, Germany. The winner will be selected in 2017.