A private group that is trying to bring the 2030 Commonwealth Games to Hamilton has officially submitted its proposal to the federal and provincial governments.
That confirmation came from Hamilton 2030 Commonwealth Bid Corporation spokesperson Lou Frapporti when he appeared before city council members on Monday.
The councilors, in turn, approved an updated memorandum of understanding (MOU) through which the city commits to advocating support for the candidacy from higher levels of government.
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Hamilton taxpayers, at this point, are not obligated to any infrastructure or capital investment, but if the bid is successful, organizers have indicated that Hamilton could be asked to make a financial contribution toward the planning and delivery of the games.
“There are multiple off-ramps, to use that phrase, for the council” if you ultimately don’t feel comfortable with the cost implications, said Carrie Brooks-Joiner, director of tourism and culture for Hamilton.
That is the consolation that Stoney Creek Count. Brad Clark indicated that he needed support to stay the course.
“Right now we’re still in control,” Clark said. “If we don’t like the financial numbers, we can get out.”
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District 8 County. John-Paul Danko is one of two councilmembers who remain opposed to entering the MOU with representatives from Hamilton 2030.
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“There has been no business plan, no idea of what the responsibility of the city taxpayers will be, no evaluation of the return on investment,” Danko said, “but what we have received again is emotional marketing.”
Sport Hamilton’s Helen Downey was among several people who delegated to the council in support of the bid on Monday.
“This is an opportunity to significantly improve sports development and physical activity programs for everyone in Hamilton,” Downey said.
Rich Gelder of the Hamilton Olympic Club added that “we need to take advantage of the supply and the funding it could bring from the private sector and high levels of government, to affect infrastructure improvements for the benefit of amateur athletics in Hamilton.”
In particular, Gelder sees an opportunity for a competition-ready indoor athletics facility in the city.
If Hamilton wins the right to host the 2030 Commonwealth Games, organizers have indicated that several events, including athletics, three-on-three basketball and road cycling, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies, will be held within from the city.
Sports venues and facilities in many other townships throughout the Golden Horseshoe are also part of what is described as a “regional offering”, from Kitchener-Waterloo to Mississauga and Brampton.
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