Victoria in Canada has officially announced that it will bid to replace Durban as host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The decision was officially announced by David Black, a businessman and owner of Canada’s largest private publisher, Black Press, and Suzanne Weckend, who represented Canada at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria.
That was the last occasion the event was staged in Canada.
“We think we have a pretty good shot here…it’s Canada’s turn,” Black, chairman of the fledgling Bid Committee, said during a launch at his home in Victoria, according to the Times Colonist newspaper.
“There will be huge benefits for us if we win and very little cost.”
Victoria has sent a letter of support to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) signed by most of the region’s Mayors, and the British Columbia Liberal Party last month included the Games in their election manifesto.
The bid process for the 2022 Commonwealth Games was re-opened in March following the decision to strip Durban of the event after they failed to provide the necessary financial guarantees.
Toronto, who had already expressed an interest in replacing the South African city, withdrew after a report prepared by the city’s Economic Development Committee warned about a supposed lack of support from Federal and Provincial authorities.
Birmingham and Liverpool in England had both expressed firm interest, as had Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital which staged the Commonwealth Games in 1998, four years after Victoria.
Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney in Australia have also revealed they may be interested.
Black claimed that Victoria would use the Games as an opportunity to improve sport facilities and build new housing in the city.
He promised they would propose a practical and modest budget.
The majority of funding would come from the Federal and Provincial Governments, with the rest generated from advertising, sponsorship and sales.
A delegation from the CGF visited Victoria last month to carry out a preliminary inspection of its facilities.
“We have a lot of facilities in place, which we think reduces the capital costs,” Black told the Times Colonist.
“The contribution requirement for taxpayers will be quite small.
“But the legacy for Victoria will be tremendous, much higher than the last time around.”