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Toronto 2024 Olympic Bid (Dead)

jn_12

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Olympics in Toronto?

Can someone refresh my memory on how long it took Montreal to pay off their olympic stint? 30 years? Olympic Stadium is now empty as well, thanks Expos.

It's one thing for a Canadian city which is located next to a mountain to host the winter games, but a city like Toronto, and a country like Canada (whose athletes performance during a summer olympics would be less successful than during the winter) should not be hosting these events.

Perhaps one day in the future after we slowly build up our budget and facilities, which in turn will enhance Canadian athletic performance, we can then think about bringing the olympics here. But a crash spending program is not the answer, especially if the price tag is a mountain of debt at a time when we can barely get the political will to upgrade our infrastructure.

Lets see how Canada is doing in 2030, we can revisit the question then.
You can't use Montreal as an example. Just because something happens in one place, doesn't mean it will happen in another and there's absolutely no reason to assume an event in 2024 will have the same result as an event almost 50 years earlier. If anything, you can argue that Montreal is a lesson for what not to do.

Also, I don't see what athletic performance has to do with anything. I'm not sure you can predict what Canada's Olympic team would do in 2024 considering much of it's team would consist of people who at their oldest are in their mid-teenage years right now, and some of which might not even be in grade 1 yet (and in the case of gymnasts, would only just be toddlers right now). Furthermore, as we saw with the Own the Podium program, money invested in our athletes does lead to results. A similar program heavily geared towards summer athletes wouldn't vault us to the top of the medal standings, but we'd be as respectable or better than Greece's 15th place showing in 2004, which for a country of our size would be decent.
 

Tulse

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You can't use Montreal as an example.
Sure you can -- the issue is whether it is a good example, but it is definitely an example.
Just because something happens in one place, doesn't mean it will happen in another and there's absolutely no reason to assume an event in 2024 will have the same result as an event almost 50 years earlier.
Is there a better way to predict the future than by looking at the past? For that matter, how many other Olympics have not saddled their host cities with debt?
 

EMP1729

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This is an interesting article about the Atlanta Olympic games,

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-09-21/news/0909200352_1_centennial-olympic-games-billy-payne-atlanta-committee

Atlanta didn't have crippling debt after the games.

EDIT: I do realize that public infrastructure was not upgraded in Atlanta - but that was more a result of the Atlanta Olympic committee not asking the federal or state government for assistance, rather than the Olympics not being incentive to upgrade the infrastructure. Canadians have a different view on spending public money. Upgrading of sewers, roads, transit etc has to be done eventually. If the Olympics and local business can pressure government to do it, (it's not right, but still pragmatic) then good for us common folk.
 
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themarc

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It would make a great stadium for the NFL team Rob Ford is going to get for us!


This would never happen for at least the 13 reasons I can think of off the top of my head.
You might be surprised if you heard what the Cricketing World (and the ICC) think of Toronto and there are a lot more cricket fans here than you might think...
 

TOareaFan

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You might be surprised if you heard what the Cricketing World (and the ICC) think of Toronto and there are a lot more cricket fans here than you might think...
Now....if cricket were only an Olympic sport that might help Toronto!
 

Riverdale Rink Rat

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Atlanta didn't have crippling debt after the games.

EDIT: I do realize that public infrastructure was not upgraded in Atlanta - but that was more a result of the Atlanta Olympic committee not asking the federal or state government for assistance, rather than the Olympics not being incentive to upgrade the infrastructure. Canadians have a different view on spending public money. Upgrading of sewers, roads, transit etc has to be done eventually. If the Olympics and local business can pressure government to do it, (it's not right, but still pragmatic) then good for us common folk.
It's also pretty much universally agreed that the Atlanta games was a fiasco -- all sponsorship, no sports, traffic nightmares, etc. Not certain you want to use Atlanta as an example any more than you want to use Montreal. I think for pro-Summer Olympic games types, Barcelona is probably the best example -- spectacular venues and convinced the government to clean up their waterfront. Still, it cost billions of dollars.
 

Eug

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Billions of dollars (eight billion), not paid for by just Barcelona, for the improvement of Barcelona.

Sounds great.
 

jn_12

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Sure you can -- the issue is whether it is a good example, but it is definitely an example.
Fair enough, but if anyone wants to use it as a good example, might I suggest they also be prepared to argue that we should be weary of any future German/Munich bid due to the Munich Massacre at the 1972 games. While we're at it, any future American bid will involve a bombing... and so on.
Is there a better way to predict the future than by looking at the past? For that matter, how many other Olympics have not saddled their host cities with debt?
Debt isn't really the question we should be asking since any time you invest money in your city you're probably taking on some sort of debt. The other thing is, you can't measure economic impact of mega events like the Olympics (I've harped on this plenty before, and it's worth saying again). So really, I'm not sure your question can be answered.

As for whether the past can predict the present, see above.
 

TOareaFan

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For that matter, how many other Olympics have not saddled their host cities with debt?
Atlanta didn't have crippling debt after the games.
It's also pretty much universally agreed that the Atlanta games was a fiasco -- all sponsorship, no sports, traffic nightmares, etc. Not certain you want to use Atlanta as an example any more than you want to use Montreal.
Just quoting the above posts cause it is a bit of smirk inducing, goal post moving, discussion that you see a lot on internet discussion boards.

Poster A says words to the effect that all cities who host Olympics incurr massive debt.

Poster B points out that not all do and cites an example.

Poster A (or, as in the case, C) notes that while that example city did not incurr debt, it is a bad example because they were not "good" games.

What is it we are afraid of? the debt or the embarressment of hosting bad games because we avoided debt? The reality probably lies somewhere in between. You can look at all of the games hosted in similar type cities/countries (you have to exclude those countries with totally controlling central governments that don't have to face the electorate and can spend as they choose...eg Bejing) and learn lessons (positive and negative). Lessons like....Montreal did not control their spending and ended up paying for a long time...avoid that.....Atlanta had a pretty low key stadium which could be re-worked post games for professional sports so if you do that you can recoup some money (either by selling it or renting it) from pro sports...geez that seemed to work there and in Manchester for the Commonwealth games too.

No one previous outcome is a pure indicator of what would/could happen here.....you have to look at all of the similar type games and determine what kind of games you want and what kind of legacy you want left behind....that will determine what happens.
 

Tewder

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... or Toronto could pave its own way and be a huge success? Why do Canadians consistently overlook this possibility?
 

TOareaFan

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... or Toronto could pave its own way and be a huge success? Why do Canadians consistently overlook this possibility?
I am not dismissing that at all....I just think that you first have to define "success". Is it a very austere games with little sporting or infrastructure legacy but no lingering debt (sorta a "tear down" games) or is it a grand event with lasting structures and remnants (transportation projects, etc) that are spurred by the games.

Setting the debt aside, was Montreal a failure? I don't know but are there many (any?) more instantly recognizable buildings in Canada than the Olympic Stadium or the Athlete's Village? If one of their goals was branding Montreal worldwide (before branding was even a word, I guess) then they can surely check that box off on their to-do list.
 

Eug

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I consider the Big O in Montreal a disaster. Too expensive to begin with, then way overbudget (initially with politicians managing the construction), the roof fiasco, lots of serious maintenance issues (falling pieces of the concrete structure), and a location nobody really wanted to visit after the games.

Sure, the Big O is hugely recognizable, but I would take the economics of the Saddledome any day.
 

Filip

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I am not dismissing that at all....I just think that you first have to define "success". Is it a very austere games with little sporting or infrastructure legacy but no lingering debt (sorta a "tear down" games) or is it a grand event with lasting structures and remnants (transportation projects, etc) that are spurred by the games.

Setting the debt aside, was Montreal a failure? I don't know but are there many (any?) more instantly recognizable buildings in Canada than the Olympic Stadium or the Athlete's Village? If one of their goals was branding Montreal worldwide (before branding was even a word, I guess) then they can surely check that box off on their to-do list.
I think the CN Tower is number 1, then after many many rows down would be anything else. It is the instantly recognizable man made landmark in the country.
 

ticky

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You might be surprised if you heard what the Cricketing World (and the ICC) think of Toronto and there are a lot more cricket fans here than you might think...
I don't doubt that there are many cricket fans here (ie, anyone living here from the sub-continent, England and Australia), but 99% of taxpayers aren't going to want to fund for ten brand-new stadiums for a sport they have probably never heard of and have no clue about.
 

Riverdale Rink Rat

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Poster A (or, as in the case, C) notes that while that example city did not incurr debt, it is a bad example because they were not "good" games.

What is it we are afraid of? the debt or the embarressment of hosting bad games because we avoided debt?
Poster C, or in this case poster RRR, wasn't trying to move the goalposts. I was just trying to come up with as many reasons as possible not drop the city into the soup. Matt makes a solid, and maybe the only solid, reason to host a Summer Olympics -- you can bribe the rest of us who don't care to have an Olympics with a massive infrastructure build (see, for example, the Pan Ams' effect on the waterfront.)

On that note -- even the NatPost (albeit in the Real Estate section) was saying nice things about WT! I know it's not like the Sun was positive, but still...
 

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