Toronto nears deadline for 2024 Olympic bid
TORONTO (AP) Toronto will not be bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.
An official with knowledge of the decision said late Monday that Canada's largest city is going to stay out of the race. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly.
Mayor John Tory is due to announce the decision at a news conference on Tuesday morning. He had until Tuesday to write a letter to the International Olympic Committee to express interest. The declared bidders for 2024 include Los Angeles, Paris, Rome, Budapest, Hungary and Hamburg, Germany.
Toronto declining to bid is good news for Los Angeles as it becomes the only North American bidder. The winning city will be chosen in 2017.
Tory began researching the feasibility of a bid only when excitement built for the Pan Am Games. The competition was hosted by Toronto this past summer. Canada spent about $2.5 billion Canadian ($2 billion) to organize the Pan Am Games - the most expensive in history - and has several Olympic-style venues in place.
After an initial wave of enthusiasm for an Olympic bid, many expressed concerns in recent weeks about the cost. The Canadian Olympic Committee had been urging Toronto to enter the race.
Toronto has failed twice with recent Olympic bids. It lost out to Atlanta for the 1996 Games, and to Beijing for 2008. Also etched in the country's memory are the 1976 Montreal Games, which ran up a $1.5 billion debt that took the city 30 years to pay off.
IOC President Thomas Bach has pushed recently to cut Olympic costs, embarrassed that Russia spent $51 billion organizing the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics and was the only city to bid for the 1984 Games at a time when the Olympics were torn by boycotts and financial problems. The success of those games helped revive the Olympic movement.