Alberta has been chosen by Commonwealth Sport Canada as the popular candidate to bid on hosting the 2030 Commonwealth Games.
A gaggle of partners — including the cities of Edmonton and Calgary, the province of Alberta, the Tsuut’ina Nation and government of Canada — is exploring the likelihood and feasibility of a joint bid to host the Games.
The event could be held over 11 days in August 2030, with competitions and cultural events shared between Calgary, Edmonton, Tsuut’ina Nation, the Bow Valley and other Alberta communities.
A gaggle of athletes, business and sports leaders, the chief of Tsuut’ina Nation, in addition to the mayors of Calgary and Edmonton, have been working together for 3 years to organize a feasibility assessment on a bid to host the Games.
“We’re very excited to enter a recent phase of bid exploration and this one involves collaboration with all orders of presidency including the Tsuut’ina Nation,” said Roger Jackson, president and CEO of the Alberta 2030 Commonwealth Games Corp.
“In support of this bid work, we’re contributing as much as $2 million to support the bid process,” Alberta minister of culture Jason Luan said.
“If the bid is successful, the 2030 Commonwealth Games bid would bring back the Games to Alberta for the primary time since 1978.”
Commonwealth Sport Canada wouldn’t disclose if some other nations had expressed interest in bidding on hosting the Games.
“Tsuut’ina is pleased to lend our support to the exploration of a bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games,” said Tsuut’ina Nation Chief Roy Whitney. “Only a few things bring people together like sports, and the chance for reconciliation could be historic.
“Not only is our sporting infrastructure strong, so is the talent behind this effort. We hope this bid will likely be positively received and we stay up for sharing hosting opportunities,”
Jackson confirmed facilities like McMann Stadium, a Calgary field house, Commonwealth Stadium, indoor velodrome and lawn bowling lawns in Edmonton could be considered for event venues but upgrades is also possible.
“The vital thing from our standpoint is to have the communities involved discover what are the renovated projects or the brand new projects which are a priority for the community.”
“Edmonton recognizes the importance of hosting major international events like this that not only bring people together to have a good time but leave an enduring economic impact on our city and help to support our global image,” said Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi.
“The City of Edmonton supports this collaborative effort to find out the feasibility of pursuing this joint bid for an inclusive, sustainable 2030 Commonwealth Games that can construct on our city’s successful sporting legacy.”
“We support conducting a feasibility assessment to find out whether a joint Alberta bid to host the 2030 Commonwealth Games could see significant legacy infrastructure investments in each Calgary and Alberta’s economy,” said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek.
“At any time when we will pursue strategic partnerships and value sharing options to generate investment and elevate civic pride, it’s vital to attach with Indigenous leaders, governments and community partners to explore those opportunities.”
Brian Soebbing, associate professor on the University of Alberta’s faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation, says joint bids have gotten more common.
“The trend that we’re seeing in sporting events has been a joint bids. We definitely see that near home with Men’s World Cup coming up in just a few years — the three way partnership between U.S., Mexico and Canada.”
“When you concentrate on it by way of Calgary and Edmonton, I believe broadly is a signal of two cities attempting to cooperate with each other.
“It’s also probably what they’re occupied with using that together as type of leveraging the chance to advertise not only the 2 biggest cities within the province, but of their mind, the province as well.”
Soebbig says a bid acts as a catalyst for upgrading existing venues and constructing recent ones.
“I could be shocked if there isn’t something put in by the organizers or the cities themselves because it pertains to upgrades or recent, different facilities,” he said.
“When you concentrate on this stuff, those add to the fee of hosting an event and all of the things which are related to bidding for large-scale sporting events.”
Explore Edmonton, a City of Edmonton tourism and venue management organization, said it’s nice to see town’s wealthy sports-hosting history recognized by Commonwealth Sport Canada, in choosing Alberta as the popular candidate.
“Edmonton is actively engaged on this process and Explore Edmonton is working alongside the City and current bid partners, in addition to our Indigenous partners in Treaty 6 to advance the exploration of a bid. As a part of our efforts, we stay up for talking to residents and hearing their ideas of how a bid could help us construct our city,” an announcement said.
All partners will resolve whether Canada should pursue a proper bid by August 2023.
Bids are resulting from the Commonwealth Games Federation by Aug. 31, 2023.
The 74 members of the international Commonwealth Games Federation (London) will resolve the host of the 2030 Games in November 2023.
The Commonwealth Games are held every 4 years, with competitors representing 74 nations and territories.
Victoria was the last Canadian host city in 1994.
— with files from The Canadian Press
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