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 spokesman Lou Frapporti, as he appeared before city councillors on Monday.
Councillors, in turn, have approved an updated memorandum of understanding (MOU) through which the city agrees to advocate for support for the bid from the upper levels of government.
Hamilton taxpayers, at this point, are not on the hook for any infrastructure or capital investments, but if the bid is successful, organizers have indicated that Hamilton could eventually be required to make a financial contribution towards the planning and delivery of the games.
“There are multiple exit ramps, to use that phrase, for council” if it eventually isn’t comfortable with the cost implications, said Carrie Brooks-Joiner, Hamilton’s director of tourism and culture.
That’s the comfort that Stoney Creek Coun. Brad Clark indicated he needed to support staying the course.
“At this moment we still have control,” said Clark. “If we don’t like the financial numbers, we can exit it.”
Ward 8 Coun. John-Paul Danko is one of two councillors who remain opposed to entering into the MOU with Hamilton 2030 representatives.
“There’s been no business plan, no idea at all what the city taxpayer’s responsibility is going to be, no evaluation of the return of investment,” said Danko, “but what we have received again is emotional marketing.”
Sport Hamilton’s Helen Downey was among several people delegating to council in support of the bid on Monday.
“It is an opportunity to significantly enhance sport development and physical activity programs for all in Hamilton,” said Downey.
Rich Gelder of the Hamilton Olympic Club added that “we need to be leveraging the bid, and the funding it might bring from the private sector and senior levels of government, in order 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.
— Hamilton2030 (@Hamilton2030CG) July 5, 2022
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 — would be held within the city.
Sport venues and facilities in numerous other municipalities throughout the Golden Horseshoe are also part of what is described as a “regional bid,” from Kitchener-Waterloo to Mississauga and Brampton.
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