Victoria, British Columbia is a ferry ride away from the United States, especially Washington state, but Americans don’t get very much news about sports in Victoria and the Commonwealth Games even though Americans watched the Commonwealth Games last time the event was held in Victoria in 1994.
Victoria wants the event in 2022 and even has sketched out a plan that includes asking two branches of Canadian government, the federal and British Columbia, for money. Not just a couple loonies but $400 million from Ottawa and $400 million from British Columbia. In total, the Victoria Commonwealth bid committee needs $965 million Canadian dollars to pull off the Games. And the organizers have gone to the well and pulled up a pail filled with reasons the government should subsidize the Games. Victoria can add much needed housing as the Athlete’s village can be repurposed for housing stock.
There would be some infrastructure improvements and Vancouver, which is a ferry ride away from Victoria, can host some events. To help bring down the costs, the organizers are hoping to have some 20,000 volunteers to make sure the Games go smoothly. Victoria has a population of 84,000 people and about 367,000 live in the metropolitan area.
The Commonwealth Games is one of the largest international sports gatherings with 70 countries or dependent territories that were members of the organization once known as the British Commonwealth. In 2015, Durban South Africa was given the right to host the Games because no one else wanted the event. Durban didn’t have the money needed to host the event. Durban is just the latest city saying no to a major international sport events.
The mega events are just too expensive with public money needed to defray costs. BC public money may be in short supply as it is needed for other projects.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.