Financial concerns shadow possible Toronto Olympic bid

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 1, 2015 at 2:40 p.m.



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TORONTO (AP) — Toronto lawmakers are wary about bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The head of the city's budget committee said Tuesday there is more uncertainty now that excitement has faded over Toronto's role as host of the recent Pan Am Games.

"I'm taking a cautious step back now and looking at the numbers very carefully," Gary Crawford said. "There are a lot of unanswered questions at the moment that need to be answered."

Though he hasn't consulted all 43 of his council colleagues, Crawford said he's heard doubts.

"Everyone is being very cautious about moving forward and they're not sure," he said.

Bidders have two weeks to notify the IOC. Others in the mix for 2024 are Rome; Paris; Hamburg, Germany; and Budapest, Hungary. On Tuesday, Los Angeles was selected as the U.S. candidate. It replaces Boston, whose bid collapsed just over a month ago.

Toronto unsuccessfully bid for the games twice, most recently for the 2008 Summer Games that went to Beijing.

Toronto Mayor John Tory doesn't need his council's approval to send an application letter, but he does need it to make a pitch.

He said Tuesday he's spoken with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne about a bid, but wants to confer with other federal leaders and the city council.

The Canadian Olympic Committee has been urging Toronto to enter the race. A municipal study has estimated that bidding alone would cost $50 million to $60 million, and hosting the games would cost $3.3 billion to $7 billion.

"Concerns about finances are on my mind, too," Tory said. "That's why I'm not just blindly saying let's just sign a letter and go ahead with this."

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The Associated Press

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