Toronto will not enter 2024 Olympics race: reports
Toronto Mayor John Tory will announce Tuesday whether Canada’s largest city will launch a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, his office said.
The Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail newspapers reported that the city will not enter the race.
The Star, quoting two sources close to the mayor’s office, cited a lack of enthousiasm among businesses and a lack of support from surrounding Ontario province.
Five cities — Budapest, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome — are already in the mix as confirmed candidates.
But Toronto has yet to say whether it will throw its hat into the ring, with the revelation now expected on the International Olympic Committee’s deadline day for filing bids.
Tory’s pending announcement — listed on his agenda for Tuesday morning — comes as a poll showed that nearly one in two Toronto residents is opposed to hosting the Games.
Opposition to the Toronto bid rose nine percent since the last round of polling, released mid-July, with 47 percent of the city’s inhabitants coming out against the Games, the survey by Mainstreet Research revealed.
“As people learn more about the benefits and costs of an Olympic bid, opinions have become more divided,” said Quito Maggi, Mainstreet Research president.
Meanwhile, support for the Olympic bid has fallen to 50 percent, slipping eight percent since the last survey.
Toronto has been passed over five times for previous Olympic bids, including for the 2008 Games, which were held in Beijing.
Filing a bid could be risky move for Tory, whose city is divided on the matter amid a difficult economic climate.
The mayor reiterated Monday that he would make a final decision only after having extensively consulted with public and private sector leaders about their commitments to support the costs of a bid.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne also cautioned Monday that the province, of which Toronto is the capital, was considering many factors ahead of a bid.
“Ontario is not going to put itself forward and be on the hook for all of the costs, so that is one of the questions,” she told local television station CP24, adding that federal government participation and private funding levels were important factors in making a decision.
Canada’s political climate has complicated the decision, with the campaign season in full swing ahead of legislative elections on October 19.
The IOC will announce an official list of bidders on Wednesday at 0700 GMT.