Pan Am CEO Ian Troop - you're bugging me...
Today I once again read comments from TO2015 CEO Ian Troop labelling an article I wrote about the status of the Toronto Pan American Games “so untrue.” Specifically, Troop took issue with the following paragraph:
"TO2015 plans to have everything built with test events running the summer of 2014. But about a quarter of the more than 50 venues still aren’t nailed down. Major builds, such as the velodrome, don’t have a home now that Hamilton city council officially rejected the project earlier this week."
Troop is of course entitled to respond however he chooses, but I find his statements irritating given the hoops the TO2015 team had me jumping through before this article ran. I gave the TO organizers more than 5 weeks notice that I intended to write a "status of the Games" article. I told them I was going to include an annotated map of the Golden Horseshoe, highlighting the status of every venue. I was initially told "sure, no problem" and that they would help find that information. More calls. More waiting. More promises.
Finally, on the day I was cross-your-heart-hope-to-die told the updated information was coming I was directed to the original bid book. I already knew many of those venues were going to be scrapped — like pretty well everything in Burlington, for example. That was all they could give me because "so much is still in the planning stages. We're four years out."
I still needed the updated info, so I spent the next week contacting dozens of the venues initially included as well as sports federations to see if they'd heard about changes. I tapped Toronto and provincial sources as well as other sports officials I know.
That 25% number I got to by counting. It wasn't a random observation from an anonymous source. I included what I'd learned on the map. And again, I had to count it out myself because the TO2015 team refused to provide me information on the status of venues because so much was still up in the air.
So when Ian Troop says only 5% of venues still aren't nailed down, I ask him: what is your definition of "nailed down?" And furthermore, if 95% is a done deal, why couldn't you provide me the information when I asked so nicely two months ago?
What surprises me is that if only 25% of the venues are still be decided and there's still four years to go — isn't that a good thing? As I mention in the map, the rejigging is all being done for good reasons, either to appease a sports federation or make it easier for spectators to watch popular events.