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Commonwealth Games softens stand on Hamilton 2026 deadlines

The website Insidethegames is reporting that Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) chief executive David Grevemberg has suggested the organisation will be willing to give Hamilton 2026 more time to secure the required Government support if it has seen enough progress by the initial deadline.

The CGF had earlier said Hamilton 2026 would need a commitment from municipal, provincial and federal partners before the end of September in order to maintain the “exclusive” backing it has given to the bid corporation and Commonwealth Sport Canada.

For the dedicated support to continue beyond then, CGF President Dame Louise Martin warned in June that Hamilton 2026 “will require a clear commitment and dedicated support from Hamilton City Council and Provincial and Federal Government partners to work with you to develop a robust candidate city proposal”.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger warned last week the Canadian city will work to “its own timelines” in deciding whether to formally support a bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Grevemberg told insidethegames,  that the dedicated support for Hamilton 2026 could carry on past the end of September, and the bid team’s failure to gain Government guarantees by that date would not spell the end of the project. There have been conflicting reports on whether any other city is interested in hosting the games. Calgary looked at the games for 2026 but dropped plans after it was unable to secure guarantees of either Federal or provincial funding. If the Hamilton bid does not gain senior government support, the prospect of the games going forward at all is in doubt. The Bay Observer has learned that government  funds have been committed to the 2026 FIFA world cup games that are being shared with the United States and Mexico. Hamilton had originally supported hosting the 2030 games to mark the Centennial of the games which were first held in Hamilton as the British Empire Games. Organizers shifted their focus to the 2026 games when the Games Federation guaranteed Hamilton an uncontested opportunity to host the games in the absence of another city stepping forward.

“The Council needs to make a decision on how much it wants to engage in the process of defining what a budget could look like, and what opportunities could exist with a 2026 Games and ultimately if it is the right time and place for that,” Grevemberg said.

“In doing that, if they are able to establish a more fitting time-frame, let’s have that conversation. “If they come back and say we need more time to work on this, we need to take that when it comes. “If progress is made by the end of September, then let’s take a look at what progress has been made.”

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