Hamilton is being considered as a potential site for a satellite athletes' village for the 2015 Pan Am Games.
But a year out from the competition, organizers have no deadline on when a decision will be made, and no estimate on how much it could cost taxpayers.
'We have considered several locations but have not yet finalized a site.' -Teddy Katz, TO2015 spokesperson
Talks to house at least 400 athletes, coaches, team and training staff, at a Hamilton location have been going on for "months" according to Teddy Katz, a spokesperson for TO2015.
A satellite athletes' village in Hamilton would eliminate what organizes estimate as a 90-minute commute between the Toronto site and Hamilton.
"TO2015 has not finalized if a Satellite Athlete Accommodation will be provided in Hamilton for the Football (soccer) teams, Katz said Wednesday. "We have considered several locations but have not yet finalized a site."
The talks are focused on using an existing site as opposed to building a new facility.
McMaster University spokesperson Gord Arbeau said it has had "initial inquires" from Pan Am organizers about the possibility of housing athletes for the Games next summer, but would not say how far talks had gone.
"If McMaster can play a role in a successful Pan Am Games, then we would be pleased to do so," added Arbeau.
Venues being considered
Tim Hortons Field, which is currently being built to replace Ivor Wynne Stadium, will be temporarily renamed to the CIBC Hamilton Pan Am Soccer Stadium for the two-week event. Sixteen teams will participate in the tournament, with eight women's teams participating in an all ages competition, while eight men's teams will compete in an Under-22 format.
Katz said that many venues were being considered, and he did not deny that both McMaster and Mohawk College are both in the running.
Mohawk did not respond to a request for comment late Wednesday afternoon.
Katz couldn't answer questions as to how much it could potentially cost to open up a satellite athlete's village in Hamilton, nor how those empty beds would impact the village in Toronto. He said he wouldn't speculate on what kind of savings that could mean for the games either, by cutting down the transportation costs for shuttling athletes between Toronto and Hamilton to reach the soccer pitch.
Soccer represents roughly four per cent of the 10,000 athletes, coaches and training staff from 41 countries expected in Southern Ontario in a year's time.
Infrastructure Ontario originally listed the cost of the athlete's village at the mouth of the Don River in Toronto as $514 million, a figure has already jumped to $709 million. The total budget for the games is an estimated $2.5 billion.
Renting out McMaster or Mohawk would keep costs down but would also negate any "legacy" component - a hallmark of selling the huge public cost of hosting the games. The athletes' village in Toronto is set to be converted into affordable housing at the end of the Games.