Edmonton looking to be Canadian candidate for 2022 Commonwealth Games
Thursday, 09 February 2012
February 9 - Edmonton have revealed that they are looking to be put forward as a candidate for the 2022 Commonwealth Games after Brian MacPherson, the chief executive of Commonwealth Games Canada, revealed exclusively to insidethegames that the country is intending to bid for the prestigious competition.
Edmonton, the capital of the province of Alberta, previously hosted the Commonwealth Games back in 1978 and the Mayor of the city Stephen Mandel admitted that they would relish the opportunity to do so for the second time.
"I think 1978 was a watershed moment for the city, and 2022, almost 45 years later, it would be a nice re-coming out party," Mandel told the Edmonton Journal.
"It's a chance to showcase Edmonton.
"We have great facilities in the city, so I don't think there would be a huge capital investment with these games, other than some expansion.
"We would obviously have to do some upgrades."
In addition to the 1978 Commonwealth Games, Edmonton has hosted a number of high profile competitions including the 2001 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athletics Championships, the 2006 Women's Rugby World Cup and the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
The city did fail in its last two attempts to host big international events – the 2015 Summer World University Games and Expo 2017 – but Mandel feels this will have no influence on a 2022 Commonwealth Games bid.
"You win some, you lose some," he said.
"Just because you don't succeed, you don't stop trying.
"Universiade (the World University Games), we probably would have won the next one if we had tried."
Candice Stasynec, the external executive director of the Edmonton's Intergovernmental Affairs branch, echoed Mandel's comments, saying that a successful bid would be a huge boost for the city.
"These opportunities are so few and far between that you can't not look at it," she said.
"Over 30-plus years, we have a history.
"We have a bit of expertise in multisport events which not all cities do.
"Our reputation for hosting events, not only the number but the quality, I think that's well established.
"A bid from Edmonton would have a lot of competitive advantages to it."
But staging the 2022 Commonwealth Games would represent the biggest event in the city's history.
At the 1978 Commonwealth Games - when Edmonton were chosen ahead of Leeds - nearly 1,500 athletes from 47 countries took part, compared to Glasgow in 2014 when more than 6,000 athletes from 72 nations are expected to compete.
The winners at those Games included Northern Ireland boxer Barry McGuigan in the bantamweight division and England's Brendan Foster (pictured), who claimed victory in the 10,000 metres.
Canada could potentially face competition from Hambantota in Sri Lanka, who failed in their bid against Gold Coast of Australia to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games, while Christchurch in New Zealand are also contemplating a bid.
However, a bid from South Africa could be the biggest obstacle for Canada, with the Commonwealth Games Movement very keen to bring the event to the continent for the first time ever and Africa holding more votes than any other continent.
South Africa's bid rests largely on the influential Gideon Sam, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) President who was elected as Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) vice-president in November.
Sam told insidethegames last year that a bid from South Africa is a strong possibility, though discussions are still ongoing.
Should a South African bid go ahead, it could create an intriguing battle within the CGF as the other vice-president of the organisation is Canada's Bruce Robertson, who could play a crucial role in helping to win votes for his country's bid.
Canada must also distance a potential 2022 bid for their catastrophic 2014 Commonwealth Games bid, which ended in embarrassment when Halifax was forced to withdraw from the race to host the competition after the provincial and regional governments withdrew their support following a review which criticised the budget and overall plan.
The Games were eventually awarded to Glasgow, who beat the Nigerian capital Abuja by 47 votes to 24.
February 2012: Exclusive - Canada planning to bid for 2022 Commonwealth Games