Black proposes rehosting Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games Canada wanted to submit a bid for the 2022 Games, but no Canadian city stepped forward

Victoria and Esquimalt municipal councils are considering a request by Oak Bay businessman David Black to have the region rehost the Commonwealth Games.

Commonwealth Games Canada wanted to submit a bid for the 2022 Games, but no Canadian city stepped forward because of cost. So far, only Durban, South Africa has submitted a bid.

Black said he is only seeking for Victoria to be considered as an alternative host in the event Durban is “unable or unwilling to proceed with its bid.”

“We have the facilities and venues in place to host the Games,” said Black in a letter to local politicians.

“We also have skilled and experienced sports and business people who can create new approaches to hosting in order to hold operating costs down to an affordable level.”

Black chaired the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria. He owns more than 180 newspapers in Western Canada and the United States, including the Victoria News, and is proposing an oil refinery in northern B.C.

On Monday, Esquimalt council considered Black’s offer and wanted more information on the costs involved and the commitment of municipalities.

When the Games were held in Victoria more than 20 years ago most of the events were held in Saanich, but the region rallied together to put on a successful sporting event.

“It’s a huge undertaking and can only be considered on a regional basis,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins.

“There are many opportunities and benefits.”

In the 1994 Games, Esquimalt hosted both wrestling and boxing events.