Before we can seriously talk about
In spite of Dalton McGuinty’s claim that the Games would “generate $2 billion in economic activity, create 17,000 jobs and lure 250,000 tourists,” the reason for trying to bring the Games to
Not that the opponents of the bids, usually from the left of the spectrum, are any more rational in their criticisms. For them, it’s all doom and glum—with an ample sprinkling of liberal white guilt. Without Bob Rae and his bread not circuses crew, the Buffalo Bills are likely playing their home games at T.O.’s beautiful lakefronted 1996 Olympic Stadium (and Donovan Bailey would have set off a celebration in the city’s east end that would still be talked about). But, alas…
The other type of opposition comes from the Oscar of Corner Gas types… “My taxes pay for your salary.” Although they are correct that public money is part of any bid, you will generally find that this type doesn’t want “tax dollars” spent on, well, anything. We have to spend public money on something. The question is what that something should be. Sport should be part of that conversation.
So, once you get past the political BS and the sky-is-falling opposition you can have a reasoned conversation about the pros and cons of a bid. Is the cost of hosting the Pan/Ams—and there will be a cost. The Games will most certainly not make money—greater than the benefit they will provide.
That tangible benefit is improved sports infrastructure in the GTA — something that is desperately needed. And, before non-Ontario readers get their backs up, try to remember that the Canadian government has supported lots of multi-sport events in other regions since 1930. In the interest of fairness, it might just be Ontario’s turn.
What is a fair question, is why don’t governments support sports improvements without major events attached to them? It’s a good question--one that maybe should be asked of our politicians from time to time. Maybe the next time you see them down by the local Centennial Pool in your hometown.
I think it’s pretty clear that it’s better to have kids playing tennis on a public court than on a Wii. But, you have to get the courts built first for that to happen.
A successful Pan/Ams bid might be one way for that to occur.
EDIT: For a neutral discussion of the 2015 Pan-Am bidding process, go here.