GUADALAJARA, Mexico (Reuters) - Toronto was awarded the 2015 Pan American Games on Friday by beating the South American capitals Bogota and Lima on the first ballot.
Toronto, which has twice failed in bids to land the Summer Olympics, has budgeted $2.4 billion for the Games that will be spread out across 16 other southern Ontario municipalities.
“I‘m sure it was a very difficult decision for voters,” Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said.
“We were honored to be in this competition with Lima and Bogota and we will do everything we can to reach out to the people from those communities in particular, so that they feel they have a special stake in the 2015 Games.”
The Pan American Sports Organization voted on Thursday for the introduction of six more sports at the 2011 Games to be staged in Guadalajara in western Mexico, taking the total to 36.
The new sports are karate, 10-pin bowling, Basque pelota, water skiing, squash and roller skating.
Canada has twice before hosted the Pan Am Games, in 1967 and 1999 in Winnipeg and is preparing to stage the Winter Olympics in Vancouver next February.
Rio de Janeiro hosted the 2007 Pan Am Games and used the event as a launch pad for its successful bid to land the 2016 Olympics.
Guadalajara’s preparations for the 2011 Games have been beset by problems and construction delays.
Colombia was attempting to stage the games for the second time after Cali hosted them in 1971.
Lima’s bid was Peru’s first. President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia and Peru’s President Alan Garcia were both in Guadalajara for the vote.
Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto and Rex Gowar in Buenos Aires; editing by Pritha Sarkar and Greg Stutchbury