Deadline looms over Pan Am stadium deal in Hamilton
TORONTO - Wrangling that could cost the city of Hamilton a shiny new stadium has yet to be resolved, with a deadline for a deal imposed by Pan American Games officials just two weeks away.
At a news conference Tuesday, those involved admitted that all they could do was hope for an agreement on where the stadium should go before the July 8 date for a decision.
"That's being worked through and resolved using facilitation," said Ian Troop, CEO of Toronto 2015.
"I'm quite confident that Hamilton will be a very important part of our games in 2015, and they will be ready for test events in 2014."
Hamilton city officials and the city's Tiger Cats football team are at odds over where to locate a new stadium.
The city wants it on West Harbour land as part of a downtown redevelopment, while the CFL team wants it near a highway.
Officials have previously said if an agreement can't be reached by July 8, the city could lose the opportunity to be part of the games, which are being hosted by Toronto.
Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger is said to have called on Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's intervention to solve the impasse.
Eisenberger did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday.
Troop's comments came as he introduced the top five members of the games' management team, who will oversee all activities related to preparation for, and running of, the games.
They are Bill Senn, who will be in charge of infrastructure; Elaine Roper heads up human resources; Barbara Anderson will act as chief financial officer; Allen Vansen will head up operations; and Kathy Henderson will look after marketing and revenue.
As many as over 1,000 people applied for the jobs, Troop said.
Toronto won the bid to host the 17th Pan Am Games last November, beating out Lima and Bogota.
The two-week Pan Am Games will have a budget of $1.4 billion for the sporting event itself, and another $1 billion for an athletes village.
The win was an important one for Toronto -- a city that has lost two Olympic bids -- and Hamilton, which also lost bids for two Commonwealth Games.
"You got to think of this like a brand," said Troop.
"This is a gigantic project and we've got to plan it well and make sure that we're executing this with excellence."
More than 40 countries from North and South America are set to participate in the 2015 Pan Am games due to take place on July 10-26, 2015.