By TONY SEED
Do you remember the Pan-American Games in 2015 in Toronto? It was a festival of sport and friendship of more than 6,000 young athletes from the Americas with venues throughout Southern Ontario. To raise the army of volunteers needed for various tasks, more than 60,000 people came forward to be selected, and of these only a third were chosen. Canada organized a delegation of its top athletes, who finished second in the medal standing. The Rogers Centre was packed for the closing ceremonies. The hosts built more than ten new facilities and 15 others were remodelled, to inspire the crowds that filled them. The privately-owned Hamilton Tiger Cats even finally walked away with a new stadium paid for by public tax dollars and renamed after some coffee chain owned in Brazil. Continue reading
Jos 9:21 And the princes said concerning them: ‘Let them live’; so they became hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation, as the princes had spoken concerning them.
(April 18) – The start time of a professional basketball game has brought to the fore the national question in Canadian sport.
“One of the competing media conglomerates that owns part of the Toronto Raptors is at least complicit in the team being stuck with an unenviable starting time for Game 1 of its playoff series,” Doug Smith reported in the Toronto Star. Continue reading
The two cities share a rich and legendary baseball history but since 1959 have traversed radically different paths in the concept and practice of sport
By TONY SEED*
The 2015 Pan Am Games, being hosted by Toronto and with the celebration of friendship amongst the peoples of the Americas and the Caribbean as one of its positive themes, evokes a memory of the sporting links between the cities of Toronto and Havana, which date back to 1954.
During most of the 1950s the Havana Sugar Kings and the Toronto Maple Leafs were two of the flagship franchises in baseball’s International League, classified as AAA, a rung below US Major League Baseball (MLB). Continue reading
TORONTO’S SKYDOME is the mother of “public-private partnerships” (P3) championed by neo-liberals as the template for economic development. It siphoned off hundreds of millions of dollars in public money to benefit private sports teams, the coffers of the construction monopolies and the finance capitalists who own Ontario’s debt. Whether the SkyDome ultimately came in “on budget” or not was irrelevant to the monopolies that were guaranteed their profits. As author/journalist Neil deMause reveals in his indepth exposé, when the budget was exceeded, in 1991 the financial oligarchy quickly swooped in to lend yet more money guaranteed by the state. The SkyDome reflects a medieval character of spending for the pleasure of a tiny aristocratic elite leaving the people to be spectators of the narcosis of American professional sport and consumers of a giant circus in which they participate only in a marginalized way. – Tony Seed Continue reading
1969-75: Various proposals are floated to build a publicly financed domed stadium to attract a major-league baseball team to Toronto; all meet significant public opposition, and none are seriously pursued.
1975: City spends $18 million to renovate then-26-year-old Exhibition Stadium. April 1977: The Blue Jays begin play at the Ex. Continue reading