By Tom Degun

Toronto 2015 athleticsNovember 21 - Construction work has begun on the brand new stadium at York University that will host athletics competition for the Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games.

During the Games, the venue will be known as the CIBC Pan Am and Parapan Am Athletics Stadium while it will have a seating capacity for 12,500 spectators.

This will be reduced to around 3,000 following the conclusion of Toronto 2015 with the capacity for an additional 2,000 temporary seats.

The stadium is scheduled to open in July 2014 while it is projected to cost around $45.5 million (£28.6 million/€35.6 million), including $34.9 million (£21.9 million/€27.2 million) to design, build and finance the project.

The remainder is comprised of capital expenditures for equipment, transaction fees, project management and other ancillary costs.

"In 2015, York University's new stadium will be abuzz with excitement as spectators cheer on some of the world's top athletes to achieve spectacular triumphs," said Toronto 2015 chief executive Ian Troop.

"This stadium is a great way to ensure York students, the community and high-performance athletes have access to much needed recreation, training and competition facilities."

The stadium will be located adjacent to the city-operated Toronto Track and Field Centre, which will serve as an athlete training and warm-up facility during the Games.

The City of Toronto is replacing the Track and Field Centre's indoor and outdoor tracks in time for the Games.

The Centre itself has been the training base of several Canadian Olympians, including sprinter Justyn Warner (pictured below) who was a member of the men's 4x100 metre relay team at London 2012.

Justyn WarnerCanadian Olympian Justyn Warner was in attendance as construction started on the Toronto 2015 athletics stadium

"The Pan American Games serve as a great stepping stone for athletes of all levels to get that much needed experience of competing on a world stage," said Warner.

"The timing couldn't be any better for Toronto 2015 with the Rio Olympics one year later.

"Other than the exception of the National Track League, Canadian track and field athletes don't have many opportunities to compete in front of a home crowd so I'm very excited for the opportunity and plan to continue Canada's rich tradition of medals at the Games."

The fully accessible stadium is designed for certification by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as a Class 1 track suitable for hosting top-tier competitions.

It will have a 400-metre track and an infield that supports throwing and jumping disciplines, as well as a scoreboard, professional broadcast capabilities, athlete change rooms, equipment storage and classroom space.

"York University is pleased to be a part of the Toronto 2015 Games," added York University President and vice-chancellor Dr Mamdouh Shoukri.

"This new state-of-the-art athletics stadium will enhance the experience not only for our students and athletes but will also create a lasting legacy for community members for years to come."

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