Toronto 2015 have announced the schedules for both the baseball and football tournaments at the Pan American Games, which are due to begin on July 10.
Seven teams are set to compete in the men’s baseball competition with the hosts aiming to win back-to-back gold medals in the event, having beaten the United States at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Colombia and Cuba are scheduled to open the tournament on July 11, followed by the United States’ clash with Puerto Rico, before Canada begin the defence of their title against the Dominican Republic, while Nicaragua sit out the opening day of competition.
The round-robin preliminary stage which will see each team play six matches, before the top four teams advance to the semi-final phase of the competition due to be held on July 18, with the gold and bronze medal matches due to be held the following day.
Each match will be held at the recently upgraded President’s Choice Ajax Pan Am Ballpark, which will host the women’s baseball competition immediately after the men’s tournament has drawn to a close, in addition to softball.
Women’s baseball will be making its debut at the Pan Am Games where the hosts are joined by the US, Venezuela, Cuba and Puerto Rico in the five team tournament, which also consists of a preliminary stage, semi-finals, before the gold medal match take place on July 26.
“I’m looking forward to leading Team Canada into this historic women’s baseball tournament and it’s even more special because it’s here on home soil,” said André Lachance, the Team Canada manager.
“Every game will be tough, but we’re hoping to come out on top.”
The hosts face a difficult test in their opening match of the men’s football tournament as they take on four-time winners Brazil in Group A, before facing fixtures against Peru and Panama, having not participated at the tournament since 1999 when they last staged the Games.
Current holders Mexico are set to face Paraguay, Uruguay and Trinidad and Tobago in Group B of the eight-team tournament which will conclude on July 26.
The 22,500-capacity CIBC Hamilton Pan Am Soccer Stadium is set to stage both the men’s and women’s tournaments with fans able to see two back-to-back matches during the preliminary stage, upon buying a ticket.
“Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, it’s not a surprise that it’s one of our top selling Toronto 2015 tickets.” Said Saäd Rafi, Toronto 2015 chief executive.
“This summer’s tournament offers fans a chance to witness top players from across the Americas in intense competition and the passionate displays of national pride that are often associated with the game.
“This is what the Pan Am Games are all about.”
Canada’s women will also face Brazil in the group phase, whom they beat in the final in 2011, with their group completed by Costa Rica and Ecuador, while Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago form the second group.
The women’s football tournament is set to finish on July 25, with the tournament coming just days after Canada host the FIFA Women’s World Cup from June 6 to July 5.
April 2015: Pan Am Games tickets for Toronto 2015 put back on sale with less than 100 days to go
April 2015: Ontario launch initiatives to help volunteers seeking work post Toronto 2015
April 2015: Official Toronto 2015 store opened to provide fans with opportunity to buy merchandise
April 2015: PrideHouse Toronto launch education programme aimed at promoting inclusion in sport
April 2015: Three-time Paralympic champion announced as first Torchbearer of unique Parapan American Games Torch Relay