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Commonwealth Games movement dealt another blow

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Commonwealth Games movement dealt another blow
A Canadian province has pulled the pin on a Commonwealth Games bid. Victoria’s shock withdrawal from the 2026 Games in July may have had something to do with it.

The province of Alberta announced on Thursday, Canadian time, that it was withdrawing support for a bid for the region to host the Commonwealth Games in 2030, with the cost of hosting cited as the reason.

“Based on current bid estimates, hosting the 2030 Commonwealth Games could result in a cost of up to $2.68 billion,” said Alberta’s Minister of Tourism and Sport, Joseph Schow, in a statement.

“The corporate sponsorship model and limited broadcast revenues for the Commonwealth Games would have put 93 per cent of those costs and risks on taxpayers.

“Alberta has a successful history of hosting major, international multi-sport games in our province and any proposal to host major games is considered with the interests of Alberta taxpayers at top of mind.

“We committed to remain transparent with Albertans about the costs of hosting international sporting events and clearly demonstrating a return on our investment for the people and communities in Alberta. That is why we have made the decision not to continue pursuing the bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games.”

Alberta’s estimated cost, converted into Australian dollars, is around $3.04 billion, well below Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, suggestion that he wasn’t confident the event could be delivered for AU$7 billion.

Following the announcement, Commonwealth Sport Canada put out its own statement, saying that Victoria pulling out of hosting the Games in 2026 – also for cost reasons, according to Andrews – had a major influence on the Canadian decision.

“We believe the recent decision by the Victorian government to withdraw from the 2026 Commonwealth Games was a significant factor in Alberta’s decision, as well as an over- dependence on taxpayer’s support for the planning and delivery of the Games,” Commonwealth Sport Canada said.

“Commonwealth Sport Canada is profoundly disappointed in Alberta Government’s decision but respects their right to make this decision.”

The overarching body for the Commonwealth Games globally, the Commonwealth Games Federation said they were “sorry to hear that Alberta is no longer developing its bid proposal for the 2030 Commonwealth Games”.

“We had already been reviewing our selection timeline as a result of the recent Victorian Government decision. The dialogue with other potential hosts is on-going,” the organisation said.

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