Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pan Am Games within $2.4-Billion Budget, Ontario Government Says

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pan Am Games within $2.4-Billion Budget, Ontario Government Says

Article excerpt

Pan Am Games within $2.4B budget: Ontario

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TORONTO - The Pan Am and Parapan Am Games held in Toronto this summer came within the $2.4-billion budget, officials said Thursday, which means organizers are eligible for lucrative performance bonuses laid out in their contracts.

Budget projections earlier this year estimated the final cost of the Games would be upwards of $2.5 billion, but the province and the TO2015 organizing committee said they found an additional $150 million in savings between them.

Among those savings were $54 million in security expenses -- security cost estimates had gone up to $239 million from $206 million just months before the Games.

Money was saved by consolidating resources between police services and managing risk in a way that allowed security forces to cut back on bag checks at venues and other such measures, officials said.

Both transportation and security budgets were spared in part due to the lack of major weather events or other emergencies, they said.

The savings are on top of the $56-million surplus in capital expenses reported earlier this year, officials said.

In total, the province estimates the Games cost $2.423 billion and brought in $175 million, including $36 million in ticket sales. The government said the final tally will be determined after all invoices are reconciled and audited statements have been prepared.

Tourism and Sport Minister Michael Coteau said that while the Games didn't bring in as much as they cost, the gains in infrastructure are "absolutely" worth the more than $2-billion discrepancy.

"If you go out to Scarborough and you meet young kids who are swimming at the Pan Am facility out there, you look to Markham, you look to this facility, you ask people who are using the facilities, people living in the accessible affordable housing at the village, they'll say this is a great initiative. I think you have to look at the whole thing."

Executives with the organizing committee have been told they will split $5. …

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