The city of Hamilton will continue its support of the bid for the 2030 Commonwealth games. Council agreed yesterday to allow staff to draft an updated letter of support that includes a reference to a possible financial contribution by the city, Hamilton 100 organizers told council that any financial contribution would still have to come back to council for approval. The agreement will allow Hamilton staff to enter into negotiations with senior governments and other interested parties. Organizers have significantly revised their projections regarding the City’s involvement. The new plan calls for several cities in Ontario to share in the games hosting—the most significant being the use of Kitchener-Waterloo’s new Olympic pool for the aquatic events, and Milton’s velodrome, which was built to accommodate the Pan-Am games, for cycling. Lou Frapporti of Hamilton 100, told councillors there might even be a possibility of staging an event in another commonwealth nation.
Other potential hosts for events include Six Nations, Toronto, St Catharines, Welland, Brampton, Burlington and Milton. Time is of the essence because organizers want to get a proposal in front of senior governments, who are expected to fund the bulk of the bid, this month. While there has not been a financial ask of Hamilton so far, the city will need to provide five to seven staff members for the project as it did for the Pan Am Games.
The project has taken a tortuous route to its present trajectory. The plan originally was for Hamilton to go after the 2030 games to mark the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of the games in Hamilton in 1930 as the British Empire Games. The project took a detour when the Commonwealth Games organization began to run into problems finding a host for the 2026 games, and offered to essentially sole-source the games to Hamilton. The Ontario government nixed that idea saying they would not support both the games and World Cup soccer—both scheduled for 2026. The Pan Am organization has now found a home for the 2026 games in Australia, and Hamilton is back to its original plan of bidding for the centennial version of the games. It is expected, however, that there will be competition from other Commonwealth countries.