COC commits $2.6M to field 'best team' at Pan Am Games
Published Wednesday, December 5, 2012 10:45AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 5, 2012 11:22AM EST
The Canadian Olympic Committee has committed $2.6 million to send a full contingent of competitors to the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto.
At a news conference Wednesday morning, COC President Marcel Aubut said the funding envelope will allow Canada to "truly be able to put our best team forward on the field of play."
"Every national sport federation in every Pan Am sport can send every eligible athlete," Aubut told reporters at Toronto's downtown Varsity Stadium.
The one-time funding announced Wednesday is coming out of nearly $100 million the COC recently committed to investing in Canadian Olympians over the next four years.
The new money, mostly generated through corporate sponsorships, almost doubles the amount the COC has spent in the prior four years.
More than 10,000 athletes from 41 countries across North, Central and South America are expected to descend on Toronto and nearby municipalities for the 2015 competition. Another 20,000 people will participate as volunteers. In total, the Games are expected to attract up to one million visitors to the region.
While several sports -- from archery, basketball and cycling, to track, swimming and water polo -- will be centred in the Toronto area; others will be throughout southern Ontario.
Equestrian events will be held in Caledon and Orangeville, for example, canoeing and kayaking in Welland and Minden Hills, mountain biking in Oro-Medonte, and rowing in St. Catharines.
Of the games' estimated $1.4 billion budget, the federal and Ontario governments are each kicking in approximately $500 million.
Municipalities, universities and venue owners are contributing $228 million for local infrastructure projects, while organizers hope to raise more than $150 million from sponsors, ticket sales and other revenue streams.
Late last month, in their first quarterly report to the public, organizers said they were on track with the budget and schedule.
Five construction projects are currently underway -- including Toronto's athletics stadium, aquatics centre and fieldhouse -- with four other venue projects expected to start over the next two years.
With files from The Canadian Press