Commonwealth Games skeptic Kevin Gonci has circulated a message to members of Hamilton City Council in which he lists 15 Commonwealth cities who have turned down hosting Commonwealth Games. Gonci is the principal behind a proposal to build a field house complex in Hamilton that he has said would pay its own way based on user fees. Gonci said his group first approached the city a year ago when they applied for ICIP construction grant and expected there would be a series of meetings in the ensuing months to hammer out details. But those meetings were continuously postponed and never materialized. There was also more recently some discussion about how to integrate the Gonci group’s proposal with a Commonwealth Games bid, but that did not happen either. Since then Gonci has been active in opposing Hamilton’s games bid. The text of Kevin Gonci’s letter to council follows:
No one else wants to host the Commonwealth Games Why?
2014 Commonwealth Games
NO – City of Halifax
Halifax was selected as Canada’s bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and was led by a local business consortium who estimated the cost to host the Games was $785 million dollars. Two independent reports from both the Provincial and Municipal governments indicated that the actual cost of hosting the 2014 Games was closer to $1.7 billion dollars and eventually funding from all three levels of government were withdrawn ending the Halifax bid.
2022 Commonwealth Games
NO – City of Victoria, British Columbia
On 24 August 2017 B.C. Finance Minister Carole James announced in a statement that the province won’t contribute funding to a 2022 Commonwealth Games bid because there were too many uncertainties. She cited question marks surrounding the bid, including revenue commitments, venue locations, costs for security, additional costs for transit, infrastructure and health services for athletes all of which weren’t included in the bid committee’s cost estimate in addition to citing other priorities such as dealing with one of B.C’s worst wildfire seasons in history.
NO – City of Toronto
On 23 March 2017, Toronto City Council announced they were exploring plans to bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Toronto hosted the 2015 Pan American Games and Parapan American Games and they would use the infrastructure and facilities which were built for those games however, the proposal was dead after city staffs recommendation that Toronto not go ahead with the bid because of the risks and potential high costs.
NO – City of Edmonton, Alberta
On March 31, 2014, The City of Edmonton announced its intent to bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and on February 11, 2015, they announced that they were withdrawing their bid, citing financial reasons and a global fall in oil prices.
NO – Durban, South Africa
On 2 September 2015, the city of Durban, South Africa was elected as the host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games on 2 September 2015 and in February 2017, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) stripped Durban of their hosting rights due to fiscal restraints and the Games were eventually awarded to Birmingham, England.
NO – London, England
On 15 March 2017, London expressed an interest in co-hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games and in May 2017 the Mayor of London announced that London would not be hosting the Games as they were focusing on the 2017 World Athletics Championships and World Para Athletics Championships.
2026 Commonwealth Games NO – India
In 2018, India expresses interest in submitting bids for the 2026 Summer Youth Olympic Games, the 2030 Asian Games and the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In 2019, the Indian Olympic Association confirmed that they will be bidding for the 2026 or 2030 Commonwealth Games. This decision was made despite earlier comments made by Indian Olympic Association President, Narinder Batra – “the level of competition isn’t high at the Commonwealth Games” – “for me, these are a waste of time and money” – “we should rather go to better competitions and prepare for the Olympics”.
India is yet to officially begin its process to submit a bid for the event, there have been no further expressions of interest made publicly by India and the application deadline established by the Commonwealth Games Federation has now passed.
NO – City of Calgary, Alberta.
Mayor of Calgary Naheed Nenshi announced on 14 January 2020 that a group of private citizens was preparing a serious bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games and shortly afterwards announced that the bid group is not bidding for the Games due to their inability to secure sufficient funding from the Alberta and Municipal Governments.
NO – City of Edmonton, Alberta.
Edmonton initially planned to bid for the 2022 Games but on 11 February 2015, Edmonton announced it was withdrawing its bid citing financial reasons and a global fall in oil prices. The bid team said they would instead focus on the 2026 games however confirmed in 2019 it would not pursue its 2026 Commonwealth Games bid due to, among other concerns, prior commitments to the 2026 FIFA World Cup. In addition, Canada would likely prefer to bid for the 2030 games as it would coincide with the 100th anniversary of the first Commonwealth Games held in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
NO – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
On 22 April 2018, Olympic Council of Malaysia, President Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar, stated that Malaysia was capable of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games – on 2 July 2018, he reports that Malaysia is not ready to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, stating that hosting the quadrennial games has become relatively too expensive for many countries.
NO – Liverpool, England.
Liverpool city council decided against submitting a bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games citing that it would be “too costly” in the current financial climate to bid for the event.
NO – Cardiff, Wales.
On 26 July 2016 it was announced that Cardiff would not look to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026. Media reports stated this was due to the uncertain situation regarding Brexit and funding concerns.
NO – Sydney, Austrailia.
In May 2018, Chief Executive of Commonwealth Games Australia Craig Philips wrote to the states seeking expressions of interest to host the 2026 or 2030 Games. New South Wales Opposition Leader Luke Foley said that Sydney should make a bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games because it would fast-track the construction of transportation system and affordable housing in the region and also the city already has the sporting facilities as it hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics, Paralympics and also the Gay Games two years later. The New South Wales Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres informed that they aren’t interested to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Sydney because the Government of New South Wales wants to focus on world cups.
NO – Perth, Australia.
The city of Perth, which hosted the 1962 Commonwealth Games, had a review into infrastructure needed. After building Perth Stadium, a 60,000 seat stadium, the West Australian capital had been urged to bid. An audit of the city’s sporting facilities was commissioned to determine what infrastructure upgrades would be needed to host the event however, on 30 December 2018, it was announced that the 2026 Commonwealth Games bid was to be abandoned as too costly and the city would instead bid for the 2029 IAAF World Championships in Athletics.
NO – Adelaide, Australia.
It was reported on 12 September 2018 that representatives of CGF visited Adelaide and toured potential venues as the city is considering a bid for the 2026 Games. The Adelaide Oval could be the venue for athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies. The Adelaide Convention Centre would be used for table tennis, weightlifting, volleyball, gymnastics, boxing and wrestling events, while the Coopers Stadium and Adelaide Entertainment Centre in Hindmarsh would host the rugby sevens and swimming events respectively. Netball would be held at the Priceline Stadium in Mile End, while the Super Drome in Gepps Cross would be utilised for track cycling. In Marion, the South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Centre could stage the diving events. The Athletes’ Village can be built within the Adelaide CBD. However, on 18 September 2019 Adelaide withdrew its Commonwealth Games bid due to lack of sporting keys.