Black Press owner David Black poses for a portrait in his Oak Bay office. (Black Press file photo)

Victoria bid to host 2022 Commonwealth Games goes in today

Next two months filled with refining as Commonwealth Games Foundation whittles down decision

The bid is on for Greater Victoria to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

David Black, among those pitching the bid, spent the day finalizing the cover letter to accompany the many letters of support garnered ahead of the June 30 deadline to apply as host of the Games.

“We’ve got supporting letters from the province, the sport Minister Sam Sullivan it was the last official act he did yesterday afternoon,” Black said from his Oak Bay home the morning of June 30. Most of the mayors within the CRD and the University of Victoria are among the entities that voiced support to host the international sport event.

Usually the bid happens well ahead of a Games, in this case, Victoria Commonwealth Games Committee opted to bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games after Durban, South Africa withdrew.

With such a shortened time frame, Black explained, Commonwealth Games Canada takes the time to choose the nation’s best city. Then there’s a rundown between the nations decided by the Commonwealth countries themselves with a vote. That’s how Victoria earned the Games last time.

“We got the nod seven years before the Games were held here in 1994,” Black said.

That affords the time to design, rezone and build facilities. It allows for building of committees and boards and organizers. The host committee also attends the Games previous to the one they’re to host. The next Commonwealth Games are next year in Australia.

“There’s stuff to build so they’ve got to choose the next host city very quickly,” Black said.

The Commonwealth Games Federation plans to save time by not holding the vote, but making the call itself.

“We’ll be in deep conversation with them over the next two or three months and that’s when we have to show our detailed plans,” Black said. “Then we have to really get serious about what exactly is going to happen here in terms of facilities, plans, procedures, operating committee.”

“It will be a lot of work this summer,” Black said, remaining confident in the bid as he has from the start. “It’s not a given that we’ll win it but we have a good shot at it. It’s our turn.”

editor@oakbaynews.com

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