Pan Am Games track goes to York U

Toronto's York University will build a new stadium to host the 2015 Pan Am Games track and field competition.

The marquee track and field events at the 2015 Pan Am Games will be held at York University.

The university said in a news release on Monday that it is currently in "discussions with organizers regarding the construction of a stadium on its Keele campus that would host track and field events during the Games."

York will pay 44 per cent of the stadium's cost. The rest of the money will come from the provincial and federal governments.

"We are thrilled about this development, as it is a tremendous opportunity for York University, as well as the broader community," said York University president Mamdouh Shoukri.

York also said on Monday the stadium will be the host of the rugby tournament during the Games, as well as the tennis competition, which had been previously announced.

The stadium will hold 10,000 people with 5,000 permanent and 5,000 temporary seats. 

The decision to move the track and field events from Hamilton to Toronto was made after a battle erupted in Hamilton over the location of a new sports stadium.

The City of Hamilton and the owner of the Hamilton Tiger Cats CFL franchise disagreed over the where to put the new facility so Athletics Canada decided in July to move the events for several reasons, including having the track venue closer to the athletes' village.

Ian Troop, CEO of the organizing committee for the Games, said the move to Toronto was unrelated to a squabble between Hamilton city council and the CFL's Tiger-Cats.

"It had nothing to do with it whatsoever," said Troop. "It was really a question of looking to make an adjustment that would improve the execution of the Games themselves."

Troop said the BMO field in Toronto isn't able to handle all of the soccer games and another major venue, such as the stadium in Hamilton, is needed to host soccer games.

"Hamilton is and will be a very important part of these Games and the switch between soccer and athletics doesn't change their role or importance."

Hamilton will also host indoor cycling and volleyball.