Pan Am Games Leave Legacy in Toronto

By Connie Jeske Crane, April 6, 2017

Toronto’s reputation was on the line hosting the 2015 Pan Am Games and Parapan Am Games.

The city’s mission: Deliver 25 world-class sports facilities, boost local infrastructure, grow high-performance sports, be socially responsible—oh, and leave no white elephants behind. It was all in a few years’ work.

Faced with lofty goals and challenges at a time when legacy planning is almost de rigueur for global competitions, Toronto’s team proved to be trendsetters. “Legacy was probably one of the most important ingredients in terms of the planning,” says John Grootveld, director of business development at Canadian Sport Institute Ontario.

Only now are we learning how the $2.4 billion spent to welcome world-class cyclists, divers, swimmers, equestrians, skeet shooters and other athletes paid off. A new study shows the event played a major role in Canada generating $6.5 billion from sports tourism in 2015, a 13 percent increase from 2015.

What other legacies are seen in Toronto today? Here are some key highlights:

Facilities

Among 10 newly constructed facilities are Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre and Mattamy National Cycling Centre. More than a dozen renovation projects included $10 million toward Welland International Flatwater Centre and $11 million for Caledon Equestrian Park.

LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan discusses encouraging more young athletes to play golf and the incredible growth on the women's tour.

Since Southwest University Park was built in El Paso, Texas, in 2014, the minor league park has drawn big crowds and events.

After a successful first year, the US Open Pickleball Championships returns this week to Naples, Florida, bigger and better.

The LPGA’s Symetra Tour is actively working with CVBs and sports commissions to add three or four new tournaments in 2018. Bids are due in October.

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