Commonwealth Games offer golden opportunity

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.

RELATED: Province will not fund Commonwealth Games

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.

Just Posted

City of Victoria to hold formal safety review after man was left hanging from raised bridge

More and more people seen ignoring safety measurements in place, city staff say

Nanaimo man wanted Canada-wide after walking away from Victoria halfway house

Warrant issued for Jesse Goodale, convicted of aggravated assault

Sixties Scoop settlement tour stops in Victoria

The information session takes place on July 24 at the Sandman Hotel

Victoria Police issue warning after man left dangling from raised Johnson Street Bridge

A man bypassed safety measures and became stranded as the bridge lifted

West Shore RCMP arrest man in stolen vehicle, seize handgun

Vehicle was reported stolen from Duncan on July 18

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

POLL: Do you use a food delivery app?

With modern life becoming more hectic with each passing day and so… Continue reading

Vancouver Island teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students, parents

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Most Read