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Commonwealth Games ball is in the Province’s court

Commonwealth Games ball is in the Province’s court

In a letter to the General issues Committee, the Hamilton Commonwealth games committee says they expect to hear shortly whether the Province is willing to support Hamilton Games in either 2026 or 2027. Last fall the Premier’s office said Ontario would prefer to support a Games Bid for 2027 as it had already committed support for the FIFA World Cup in 2026, part of which will be held in Toronto. The Hamilton bid team reported, “with the ending of the holiday break we enquired as to the status of those discussions with the Commonwealth Games Federation, Commonwealth Sport Canada and the Provincial Government. Having done so, we were informed earlier this week that the Province is working to make a decision on this offer imminently which they expect to convey to us in the near future.”

Until then, the organizers write, “we are of the view that the current emergency warrants our holding the matter in abeyance pending a clear affirmation of interest provincially and a credible direction to us to move forward. Without pre-judging the outcome of these recent deliberations, we wish to confirm that should the Province clearly express its reluctance to pursue a pre 2030 event (in ’26 or ’27) we will immediately cease our efforts in that regard. “

British Empire Games

The original concept was that Hamilton would go after the 2030 games which would mark the centennial of the first games (then called the British Empire Games) which were held in Hamilton in 1930. The legacy of those games was the construction of what later would be Ivor Wynne Stadium and the Jimmy Thompson Pool.

When the Commonwealth Games federation started having trouble attracting bidders for the 2026 games, they essentially offered the games to Hamilton on a sole-source basis. When the province suggested they would support games in 2027, not 2026 the Commonwealth Games Federation re-started talks with Australia, Sri Lanka and another unnamed country.

2030 bid will be expensive

The Hamilton bid group also suggested that any detailed games bid they might put forward would be “a much more economical and inclusive hosting plan focused on social impact, sustainable development and health and wellness. The letter went on to suggest that if Hamilton ended up submitting a 2030 bid, it would be in competition with other countries and therefore would be  a more costly bid requiring support from all levels of government writing, “we acknowledge that all levels of government had communicated their support for our 2030 bid, and many of you expressed a preference for that opportunity over the certainty of hosting in 2026, the reality is that the cost and nature of the 2030 bid warrants further deliberation.”

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