Details on a potential joint Calgary-Edmonton bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games are set to be revealed Wednesday by a grassroots Alberta group, alongside municipal and provincial government officials.
A news conference planned for Wednesday, hosted by a group called the Alberta 2030 Commonwealth Games Corp., will feature Commonwealth Sport Canada president Claire Carver-Dias, Alberta Culture Minister Jason Luan, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek, Edmonton Mayor Amarjit Sohi and Tsuut’ina Nation Chief Roy Whitney, as well as multiple other community leaders and Alberta athletes.
According to a media advisory, the announcement will “officially launch an exploration process that will assess the feasibility of bidding to host the Commonwealth Games in Alberta.”
The Commonwealth Games are held every four years, featuring athletes from 72 nations and territories. The 2022 Games, held in Birmingham, England last August, saw more than 5,000 competitors participate in 20 sports.
A Hamilton, Ont.-based bid for the 2030 Games fell apart last month, paving the way for Alberta to throw its hat in the ring. While nothing has been confirmed, officials have since hinted a local bid may be in the works.
“We have a very active group in our community that would like to see the Commonwealth Games come here — they’ve been very vocal about that,” Gondek said on Feb. 14. “Whether or not we entertain that as a council is a decision that would come before us.”
When asked by reporters Tuesday, Gondek would not comment on the potential bid or the coming Wednesday press conference.
“Tomorrow, we’ll tell you everything,” she said.
Chris Dornan, a spokesperson for the Alberta 2030 Commonwealth Games Corp., said the group comprised of community builders has been working with Commonwealth Sport Canada, Indigenous groups and all levels of government on the potential bid.
“This exploration has included business and institutional organizations, venue operators and various community groups and advocates to assess the value of bringing the Commonwealth Games to communities throughout the province,” he said.
Edmonton previously hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1978 — resulting in the construction of the namesake Commonwealth Stadium — and both Calgary and Edmonton have had groups in recent years vying for their city to host the 2022 or 2026 Games.
Last week, at the inaugural meeting of Calgary council’s multisport fieldhouse committee — a group tasked with bringing the city its first fieldhouse — city officials said they’re speaking with Commonwealth Games counterparts about how such a facility could see the city prepared to host the Games.
“We’ll be working closely with the Commonwealth Games folks,” Heather Johnson, the city’s director of recreation, told committee members.
The 2026 Games will be hosted by the state of Victoria in Australia — featuring a multi-city concept similar to the Alberta bid.
— With files from Brodie Thomas
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