Edmonton mayor backs away from city hosting 2022 Commonwealth Games – Edmonton

The flicker of hope for Edmonton to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games is getting closer to being snuffed out, if the mayor gets his way.

“The time has come for us to be honest with ourselves that it’s not the right time to be pursuing mega-events on our own,” Don Iveson said Tuesday.

The city had been poised to renew its bid for the Games after Durban, South Africa, lost the right earlier this year to host the event.

Durban had been awarded the Games in 2015 but by March of this year couldn’t provide financial guarantees or meet other commitments it had made.

Edmonton had dropped its initial bid in February 2015 after the provincial government wouldn’t financially back the event.

“We got enthused with the idea of going after Commonwealth Games 2022,” Iveson said, pointing out that it’s not feasible to host the event considering Alberta’s fiscal situation and ongoing economic downturn.

He said Calgary isn’t interested in partnering to host either the 2022 Commonwealth Games or the 2026 Winter Olympics. 

Mayor Don Iveson says neither the province nor the city of Calgary are interested in supporting the 2022 Commonwealth Games. (CBC)

“I put it out there to see what the province’s reaction would be and what Calgary’s reaction would be, to say… maybe it’s finally time for Alberta’s two cities to start acting like Albertans together,” Iveson said. “But we’re not there yet.”

Iveson’s position on stepping back from the Commonwealth Games is echoed by the chair of a new report prepared by a citizens’ panel on major sports events.

‘Edmonton shouldn’t bid on events simply because they can host them.’
– Reg Milley, chair of citizens’ panel on major sports events

“I think the mayor has looked at it from a rational approach as to where we are today and what we’ve got in front of us and what the economy’s looking like,” Reg Milley said. “And yes, that’s a good decision.”

In the report, called “The Changing Field of Play,” the…

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