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The Canadian Press
TORONTO: The head of Toronto’s Pan Am Games organizing committee says if the event goes well, it could set the stage for the city to make another Olympic bid.
David Peterson says that except for a large stadium, all of the facilities would be in place for an Olympic Games in the next 10 or 20 years.
The former Ontario premier told a news conference today that “these are the best-organized multi-sport games ever,” with all the facilities including the athletes village set to go.
He says it’s not the focus now, but if the Pan Am Games go well a future leadership group could use them as the basis for another Olympic bid.
About 800,000 out of 1.4 million tickets for the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games have been sold and Peterson says he expects Pan Am sales will hit 90 per cent.
He says he’s not concerned about some of the negative comments being made about the Games as “it’s always the way” for this kind of event.
Ontario’s Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid said the Games are a big positive for the province.
“When you look at it overall, you’re looking at what is 26,000 jobs, according to economists, that are created by this kind of an event, and $3.7 billion of economic advantage that will accrue to Ontario and Canada as a result of this,” he said. “We have every reason to be optimistic.”
Duguid added that despite reports of hotels not having as many rooms booked ahead of the Games as expected, the multi-sport event is expected to benefit a number of sectors, including the restaurant and hotel industry.
© 2015 The Canadian Press