The Commonwealth Games are set to return in 2030 to Hamilton, the Canadian city that launched the multi-sport event 100 years ago, with Niagara Falls providing the backdrop for beach volleyball and the impetus to add men’s cricket to the programme. With the federal and provincial governments expressing support and no other city officially throwing their hats in the ring, Hamilton bid leader Louis Fraporti told Reuters the Steel City was the favorite when the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF ) make a decision sometime next year.
“Without snooping around, we’re definitely the clear favorite if only because we’ve invested so much time and energy into actually creating a proposal,” Fraporti said. “The only country we’re hearing about is New Zealand.
“What we understand is that we are so far ahead of them in terms of preparing an offer that they are more likely to be interested in 2034 than 2030.”
If selected, it would mark the fifth time Canada has hosted the quadrennial event, but the first since 1994, when it was held in Victoria, British Columbia.
Hamilton organized the first competition in 1930, when it was known as the British Empire Games and had only six sports; athletics, boxing, bowling, rowing, swimming and wrestling.
Women only competed in water sports.
At the Games in Birmingham, which ended on Monday, nearly 5,000 athletes from 72 nations and territories competed in 19 sports.
For the first time at a major multi-sport event, there were more medal events for women (136) than men (134) and a record eight integrated parasports with podium finishes, respecting the overall medal standings.
While the 100th anniversary provides an obvious hook to hang the pitch on, the Hamilton100 Commonwealth Games Bid Corporation will not play the mood card, instead focusing on the elements that made the Birmingham Games a success.
“We’re very light on the centennial celebration elements,” Fraporti said. “Some people, like our (Hamilton) mayor, are very passionate about it, but from the point of view of us who actually drafted the proposal, we see that as the most unconvincing part of it.”
“We want to move away from the concept of games as a time event.
“Rather, we seek to take CGF’s value proposition, which includes inclusion, diversity, sustainability, and turn it into a movement.”
Diversity, inclusion and private funding are buzzwords that prick up government ears, especially when it comes to spending taxpayers’ money.
Hamilton100’s bid initially proposed an operating budget of around $1.5 billion (CDN).
But that has been reduced to about $1 billion, about the same cost as the Birmingham Games, with Frapporti putting the private sector at between $250 million and $500 million.
“What sets the gaming framework apart at the moment is a very significant amount of private sector investment around the delivery of infrastructure assets,” Fraporti said.
The biggest infrastructure project in Hamilton’s bid will be the construction of a sports village, which current plans say will be privately delivered.
The private sector will also be responsible for the renovation of the FirstOntario Center in downtown Hamilton and will contribute to the construction of a state-of-the-art cricket facility.
Otherwise, the bid is largely dependent on existing facilities in what is known as the Golden Horseshoe, such as the velodrome in nearby Milton, built for the 2015 Pan Am Games.
The bid will also use one of the natural wonders of the world with Niagara Falls providing the backdrop for beach volleyball.
“As much as the Commonwealth Games aspires to be the ‘light of the Olympics’, there is no path to success in that,” Fraporti said. “What we’ve tried to do is embrace those values and opportunities that actually really set sports apart so much in terms of inclusion.”
This story was published by a wire agency feed with no text changes.