Three years to the day Tuesday, Hamilton's Ivor Wynne stadium will be in the international soccer spotlight for the 2015 Pan Am games.
At a flag raising ceremony in Toronto Tuesday, Pan Am CEO Ian Troop told CBC News the stadium will be built to FIFA standards to house future soccer events.
The buzz around Pam Am soccer is starting, said Councilor Bernie Morelli, and the community is excited to host the international community.
“There is injected enthusiasm,” said the Ward 3 councillor. “[The stadium] is another item stimulating the community back to the forefront. It has so much to offer.”
The tournament's games are slated for the newly-built stadium and complex in Barton Street East and Gage Avenue North area.
The Pan Am opening ceremonies are scheduled for July 10, 2015.
Morelli said most of the public interest lies in what the stadium will look like. The new design is expected to be released in September.
A clear objective for Morelli is to make sure the stadium leaves a legacy in the community. The city’s precinct committee has plans for a senior’s centre and other recreation facilites on the site.
“We’re focused on a facility that’s not just for football, but has community use 365 days of the year,” Morelli said.
Right now, the city’s Pan Am precinct committee is working on figuring out logistics. Morelli said the challenge they face is accommodating the players travelling from the athlete’s village in Toronto.
“What has been worked out is that we need to understand the logistics of moving players and what we do with services to provide,” said Morelli. “We don’t know who is staying where and who is practicing where.”
“Anytime we have visitors from around the world, it’s a good opportunity to play host, welcome those people and enjoy the community."