As thousands prepare to watch some of the world’s best soccer players compete at the Pan Am Games this summer, Games organizers and the City of Hamilton celebrated completion of the state-of-the-art stadium that will play host to all 32 games over 16 days in July.
“It has been said that soccer is the world’s most popular game so I am thrilled to know that with this new venue, Toronto 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games spectators and fans will have an experience that is second to none,” said Games CEO Saäd Rafi.
Located in Hamilton’s Stipley neighbourhood where the venerable Ivor Wynne Stadium stood, the stadium has re-imagined the historic site where Canada held its first major international competition, the British Empire Games in 1930.
The stadium, which offers fantastic sightlines, first-class amenities and concession stands on all levels, also meets the highest standards for accessibility and the most up-to-date technical requirements of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).
Tickets for the men’s final are sold out but remain for other games. Tickets are available at www.toronto2015.org/tickets.
The men’s soccer will be well-rounded, with top competing countries such as Canada playing at the Games for the first time since 1999. Then there are traditional powerhouses like Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay.
The Canadian men’s team has played in two Pan Am semifinals, both on home soil. The Mexican team enters the tournament as defending champion while the Brazilians are four-time Pan Am gold-medal winners.
Other teams in the men’s tournament include Peru, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and Paraguay. Canada opens with a game against Brazil on July 12.
The competition will also be strong in the women’s competitions with Canada, defending champion, and Brazil, two-time Pan Am gold-medal winners, expected to be top contenders.
Others in the women’s tournament include Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Argentina and Trinidad and Tobago. Canada faces some difficult opponents including a key game against Brazil on July 19.