The cost of merely thinking about bringing the 2024 Olympics to Toronto? $1 million
Toronto is in the early stages of contemplating yet another attempt at Olympic glory, and there’s already an estimated price tag. The first phase of this hypothetical Olympic bid—a study of whether the city could even theoretically pull off such a huge event—would cost $1 million.
At next week’s meeting of the city’s economic development committee, councillors will decide whether to ask city council to approve that expense—which wouldn’t be the last. City staff estimate that it would cost between $50 and $60 million to prepare a formal bid for the International Olympic Committee. The games themselves could cost an estimated $3.3 to $6.9 billion.
There are all sorts of economic justifications for pursuing an international sporting event like the Olympics. It draws international tourists, for one thing, and can even spur infrastructure development, as cities scramble to make neighbourhoods safe and improve public transit ahead of the arrival of the camera crews. (Vancouver built a new SkyTrain line ahead of its 2010 games.) Of course, the games can also serve as excuses to overspend on projects without any post-event utility. Beijing, for instance, is still figuring out what to do with its stadium.
In Toronto’s case, the extra incentive to build new stuff might not be needed. The city is already well into the process of preparing for its 2015 Pan Am Games, for which the provincial government is helping to finance a few different projects, including a rail link to Pearson airport and a whole new neighbourhood in the West Don Lands. Plus, past Olympic bids haven’t worked out so well for Toronto. The city was passed over in favor of Atlanta for the 1996 games, and came in second to Beijing in 2008.
Also, maybe, just maybe, some of us would rather not have to cower in our homes for two weeks while mobs of tourists stampede through downtown? Just a thought.
4 thoughts on “The cost of merely thinking about bringing the 2024 Olympics to Toronto? $1 million”
Unlike other cities, we could probably use more stadium space. We could easily support a full time NFL team, but lack the proper stadium to be considered. We also could support a second NHL team, surely by 2024 we could figure out the politics that may be in the way. On top of that, this city seems to struggle with long term planning and funding. We have been operating too much on a short term basis and this would allow us to partner with federal and provincial bodies to make serious, long term, infrastructure improvements.
Olympics have and always will be the single biggest carbon footprint generated by a city in it’s short lifetime (+-500 years). Also, the Ontario government has shown the propensity to mismanage large and small projects alike (from $Billion dollar agencies to 100 dollar gift certificates, so I’d tag this game at 10 Billion min with a whole lot of money being siphoned off by execs and deals. yes let’s bring it!
Look up how the venues paid for by taxpayers at previous games are doing. Then ask yourself if there is something wrong with the whole olympic concept.
Toronto has been deficient in sports infrastructure for years – not capable of hosting reasonable sized tournaments let alone international events. The Pan Ams will help with this, but a lot is depending on the GTA and beyond. Toronto could be a great host for the Olympics after the experience of the Pan Ams – with new infrastructure and experienced teams. London is a great example of re-purposing Olympic infrastructure. The Olympics don’t need to be the ‘big owe’ that they were decades ago.
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