Commonwealth Games offer golden opportunity

Commonwealth Games offer golden opportunity for Victoria

  • Aug. 24, 2017 10:00 a.m.

Greater Victoria has a tremendous opportunity in front of it right now.

Should the region earn the right to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Victoria would not only benefit from the influx of visitors and mass media exposure that accompanies one of the largest international multi-sport events in the world, it could see needed infrastructure projects completed at a relatively minimal cost to local residents.

There are still many questions to be answered — nailing down such things as the end cost to area taxpayers, the level of security required and the cost of constructing new venues where needed are critical to finding support to stage any large sporting event.

But it’s still very early in the process and the finer details, such as security needs and costs – which the committee will ask the federal government to cover – are still being fleshed out.

There is widespread municipal support for attempting to land the Games – most councils support the committee presenting its financial case to the province, federal government and ultimately the Commonwealth Games Federation. But residents polled by Black Press are largely on board with the idea as well.

A recent survey saw 70 per cent of decided residents answer ‘yes’ to the question, “Are you supportive of Greater Victoria putting forward a proposal to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games?”

“That’s an extraordinary high number for this point in time,” says committee chair and Black Press owner David Black, who was heavily involved in Victoria’s 1994 Games, which he notes made a $20-million profit. “Often with these things the best you can hope for is 50 per cent [support] in the early stages.”

Black Press will conduct another survey to give the committee a better picture of public support for the bid.

In recent weeks, Black says, the committee has received letters of support from provincial and national sport organizations, whose athletes stand to gain tremendous training and competitive opportunities. The 1994 Games resulted in eight national training centres being located in our area, and more could follow should Greater Victoria win the bid to host again.

Unlike Vancouver, which saw its 2010 Winter Games Olympic athletes village become a trendy, high-end neighbourhood, the plan here is to have athletes’ dorms converted to much-needed affordable housing.

All in all, Black says, the short and long-term benefits of hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games far outweigh the costs and make this bid an endeavour the entire community can feel good about supporting.

VIDEO LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7zzDR3Wq0c

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Deadline extended for annual writing competition

Mail-in entry format makes Victoria Writer’s Society contest perfect for the times

The Lonely singer reaches out and gives back, with online birthday show

Michael Demers sharing a musical chat tonight at 8 p.m. on Facebook

Trio of rock shows rescheduled for Alix Goolden Hall

Bowie tribute show, Martin Barre’s Jethro Tull show and Tommy Emmanuel all booked for late fall

Province announces $3M in funding for arts groups hit by COVID-19 crisis

BC Arts Council to administer support for both organizations and individual artists

Opera from a social distance: Taking it to the web

Pacific Opera Victoria launching two weekly podcasts to educate and stay in touch with listeners

Netflix reducing video quality in Canada to lower Internet bandwidth use

Bell Media is also planning traffic measures affecting the Crave streaming service

Will the show go on? B.C. music festivals consider options for 2020

Summer events running out of time to stay on schedule, in wake of COVID-19 uncertainties

Relief fund for Canadian performing artists gets $100,000 boost from foundation

Facebook started the fund with a first $100,000 donation last week

Henley, Tucker, Cyrus and others mourn the death of Rogers

Country music icon remembered as a crossover pioneer, a supporter of young artists

Joseph Blake: 10 amazing CDs to explore in our COVID-19 isolation

Longtime music writer shares his favourite records from his vast collection

Most Read