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.

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet uses his fame to promote his home town of Rockford, Illinois, as a destination for events.

USA Gymnastics is seeking proposals to host its 2019 Men's Junior Olympic National Championships. The deadline to declare an intent to bid in July 11.

The 2017 USA Boxing Junior Olympics, Prep Nationals and Youth Open Championships tops the list of what's going this week in Team USA.

Craig Mackay, sports development manager at Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, impresses industry veterans early in his career.

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