Here’s something that never happens: A major sporting event coming in under budget.
That’s exactly what the Toronto Pan Am Games achieved after the chair of the TO2015 Organizing Committee, David Peterson, announced a capital surplus for the Games between $56 million and $66 million.
Though final costs are still being calculated, Pan Am executives are already set to receive massive bonuses for their part in keeping the event on schedule and within its $2.5 billion budget. Some 50 of the Games’ top brass will split almost $6 million for hitting their capital and operating targets out of the park, as Peterson put it.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has been busy defending the payouts in the face of criticism from opposition parties, despite the terms being guaranteed before the Games.
“You have a situation where you’ve got 50 employees who make between $250,000 and almost a half million dollars and they get over $100,000 bonuses just for showing up and doing your job. There is no other job that’s like that. It is simply unacceptable,” said Progressive Conservative MPP Steve Clark. Some execs will take home 100 per cent of their salary in bonuses.
Wynne pointed out that such arrangements are common and calculated into the original budget for the Games, praising those whose work contributed to a unanimously successful event. The rest of the surplus will be reimbursed back into the pockets of the provincial and federal government.