BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Buenos Aires is dropping out of the running to host the 2023 Pan American Games and will instead focus on a bid for the event four years later, the president of the Argentine Olympic Committee (COA), Gerardo Werthein, said on Friday.
Werthein said the Argentine capital, which will hold the Olympic Youth Games next year, was dropping its plans due to financial reasons, which leaves Chile's Santiago as the only city interested in hosting the quadrennial event in 2023.
Werthein said delaying the bid would also fit into Buenos Aires' plans for a possible Summer Olympics bid.
“I would like Argentina to present its Olympic candidacy for 2032, but for now I’m only thinking about (the PanAm Games in) 2027,” Werthein told reporters.
“The budget necessary to organise the Pan American Games was $650 million... It’s too much for this moment in Argentina,” he was quoted as saying by the leading national daily La Nacion.
The Pan American Games, which will next be held in Lima in 2019, have been staged twice in Argentina – in Buenos Aires in 1951 and Mar del Plata in 1995.
The last Games were held in Toronto in 2015.
Reporting by Rex Gowar; Editing by Peter Rutherford