September 15, 2015 / 12:45 AM / 5 years ago

Toronto not entering race to host 2024 Olympics: reports

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto will not bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, according to multiple reports on Monday.

The moon turns orange during a total lunar eclipse behind the CN Tower and the skyline during moonset in Toronto October 8, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The city’s mayor had earlier scheduled a news conference for Tuesday when many felt he would announce that Canada’s largest city was going to join a race for the 2024 Games that includes heavy favorite Paris, Los Angeles, Rome, Budapest and Hamburg.

But according to reports in the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star newspapers, each citing two sources with knowledge of the decision, Toronto Mayor John Tory has opted against sending a bid to the International Olympic Committee and will make that announcement on Tuesday.

According to the sources in the Globe and Mail report, Tory reached his decision based on a tight timeline and lack of interest from the private sector.

The Toronto Star report said Tory’s decision was made after he “received a lack of corporate enthusiasm and without firm support from the province. Key potential sponsors have also been lukewarm to backing a Toronto bid to host the mega event.”

While opponents have argued that an Olympic bid would consume too much public money, backers were greatly encouraged after Toronto successfully hosted this year’s Pan American Games, the largest multi-sport event ever staged in Canada.

For 16 days in July, Toronto had a taste of the Olympic experience and ate it up with gusto as over 1 million tickets were sold and Canadian athletes enjoyed unprecedented success in the multi-sport event between countries from North America, Latin America, South America and the Caribbean.

Toronto has failed in its five previous attempts to host the Olympics, the most recent being a bid for the 2008 Summer Games that ended in a second-place finish to Beijing.

The IOC, which set Tuesday as a deadline to accept candidates, will elect a winning bid for 2024 in September 2017.

Rio de Janeiro will host the Summer Games next year with Tokyo holding the event for a second time in 2020.

Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes

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