Concerns over cost of Olympics rise as excitement over Pan Am Games wanes

If Toronto’s mayor plans to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, he’ll have to quell concerns in his own council about the financial risks involved.

TORONTO — If Toronto’s mayor plans to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, he’ll have to quell concerns in his own council about the financial risks involved.

The head of the city’s budget committee said Tuesday that now that the excitement over the Pan Am Games has faded, he is feeling more uncertain about proceeding with a possible Olympic bid.

“I’m taking a cautious step back now and looking at the numbers very carefully,” Gary Crawford said.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions at the moment that need to be answered: who’s going to be paying for the bid — $50 million to $60 million — where’s the support from the provincial (and) federal governments, that’s an absolute key necessity, and where the private sector is.”

Cities looking to host the 2024 Games have another two weeks to officially register their interest with the International Olympic Committee, which secures them the right to submit a bid.

Toronto Mayor John Tory doesn’t need council’s approval to send an application letter, but he does need it to move forward with a pitch.

The mayor said he’s spoken briefly to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the possibility of a bid, but wants to confer with the remaining federal leaders and city council on the matter.

Tory also maintains he wants to carefully weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether to even submit a letter to the IOC.

“Concerns about finances are on my mind too,” he said. “That’s why I’m not just blindly saying let’s just sign a letter and go ahead with this.”

A municipal study previously estimated bidding alone would cost between $50 million and $60 million, and hosting the Games would cost between $3.3 billion and $7 billion.

The Canadian Olympic Committee, which has been pushing for Toronto to enter the race, says new rules from the IOC would make both bidding and hosting more affordable, but at least one expert says the price will likely be higher than the city previously predicted.

Crawford said he won’t support using taxpayer money to finance the bid, and should Toronto officially throw its hat in the ring, he won’t agree to a contract that would leave the city on the hook for any cost overruns.

Boston’s mayor rejected a similar agreement in July, effectively pulling the city from the race. Los Angeles has indicated it would step in as a replacement, and city council there was poised to vote on the issue Tuesday.

Rome, Paris, Hamburg, Germany, and Budapest, Hungary, have also expressed interest in competing to host the 2024 Games.

Just Posted

A representative for the office of Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu says the new Red Deer drug treatment court is expected to be operational by the middle of 2022. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer drug treatment court expected to be up and running no later than mid-2022

The Government of Alberta expects the new Red Deer drug treatment court… Continue reading

Environment Canada says rain Tuesday evening will turn to snow. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Expect wet snow Tuesday night central Alberta

Heavy wet snow could accumlate with the potential for broken tree branches

FILE - In this Thursday, April 29, 2021 file photo, giant bucket-wheel excavators extract coal at the controversial Garzweiler surface coal mine near Jackerath, west Germany. A report by the International Energy Agency on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 says immediate action is needed to reshape the world’s energy sector in order to meet ambitious climate goals by 2050. This includes ending investments in new coal mines, oil and gas wells. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
Energy agency: End new fossil fuel supply investments

IEA report sets out 400 steps to transform how energy is produced, transported and used

A man inspects the rubble of destroyed commercial building and Gaza health care clinic following an Israeli airstrike on the upper floors of a commercial building near the Health Ministry in Gaza City, on Monday, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Strike from Gaza kills 2 as Israel topples 6-story building

Latest attack from Gaza on Tuesday hits packaging plant

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. A review by the national spy watchdog has found inconsistencies when it comes to federal efforts to ensure information sharing with foreign agencies does not result in torture. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Spy watchdog calls for changes to ensure information-sharing does not lead to torture

Differences in federal departments stances when dealing with the same foreign agency creates concern

Red Deer musician Curtis Phagoo is glad the Alberta government is investing $2 million to help the province’s live music industry, but he would have liked the criteria to be expanded, so the money could be used as relief to cover revenue shortfalls. (Contributed photo by Cory Michaud)
Red Deer musicians welcome $2M in grants to help live music, but would have preferred relief program

The money is for future projects and can’t be used for retroactive expenses

Sheffield United’s Daniel Jebbison celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Sheffield United at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Sunday, May 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Alex Pantling/Pool via AP
Canadian teenager Daniel Jebbison turns heads with Premier League goal

Jebbison, 17, is the youngest player in Premier League history to score on his first start in England’s top tier

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from “F9.” (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie makes a comeback this summer

Last year, summer earnings were $176 million, down 96% from 2019

FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2021, file photo, exile Tibetans use the Olympic Rings as a prop as they hold a street protest against the holding of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, in Dharmsala, India. Groups alleging human-rights abuses in China are calling for a full boycott of the Beijing Olympics, which is sure to ratchet up pressure on the International Olympic Committee, athletes, sponsors, and sports federations. A coalition of activists representing Uyghurs, Tibetans, residents of Hong Kong and others, issued a statement Monday, May 17, 2021 calling for the “full boycott,” eschewing lesser measures like “diplomatic boycotts" and negotiations with the IOC or China. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia, File)
AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

Canada's Eric Lamaze riding Fine Lady 5 during the CP International competition at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Canada's most decorated show jumper has withdrawn from consideration for the Tokyo Olympics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse questions a foul call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday, April 26, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Nurse says it was the COVID-19 outbreak in March that spiked his team's chances for a post-season run.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Chris O'Meara
Nurse faces a busy off-season, much busier if Canada qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Nurse faces a busy off-season, much busier if Canada qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Danielle Goyette speaks to reporters during a press conference in Toronto on Friday, November 10, 2017. Goyette has been named director of player development for the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and their American Hockey League affiliate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Most Read