Hamilton’s dream of hosting the Commonwealth Games on the centennial of the sporting event’s founding in Hamilton has come to a sudden end. Organizers of the Hamilton bid told the Hamilton Spectator that they received an email from Commonwealth Sport Canada advising that Hamilton was no longer the “preferred candidate.” At issue was the inability of the local bid group to obtain a firm financial commitment from the province of Ontario. Claire Carver-Dias, the President of Commonwealth Sport Canada, told the Bay Observer that the clock had simply run out. “We had given a deadline of the end of January to obtain the necessary letters of support, and when that passed we gave an extra two weeks but the province did not meet the deadline.” Commonwealth Sport Canada is now scrambling to see if they can at least get a Canadian City to host the 2030 games. She suggested there is a community group in Alberta exploring the possibility of a bid, but the deadline for submissions is two weeks away. Carver-Dias had high praise for the Hamilton big group, who she described as “fantastic.”
The sudden news brings to an end years of work by the Hamilton organizers who started out with the 2030 Games in mind as it would mark 100 years since the first games were held in Hamilton as the British Empire Games. When it looked like the 2026 games might not find a host, the Hamilton group were told they would be unopposed if they shifted their focus to the earlier games, but that plan was kyboshed by Premier Doug Ford who said the province would not wish to support an event that would potentially divert funds from the World Cup of Soccer which is scheduled to take Place in Canada and across North America the same year.
International media accounts throughout 2020 continuously referred to Hamilton as the acknowledged frontrunner for the 2030 games but towards the end of 2022 news reports hinted at a possible shift away from Canada as the preferred 2030 candidate.
Katie Sadleir, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), suggested there might be announcements soon about the sites for both the 2030 and 2034 games and. revealed that several countries are interested.
As a possible reference to Canada which has hosted the games four times, she said, “we’re very conscious as a movement that we host Games, most recently, in repetitive countries…we really want to get those Games out. To do that, it means you do need to have multi partners. I met with several sports ministers in Africa and said there is an opportunity to do an African Games.”
The local bid team had operated from the outset on a premise that the host cities would not have to put up money—that funding would come from the private sector and the two senior governments, and in many cases would utilize existing sports venues.. Organizers in recent weeks had been sounding out neighbouring communities throughout the GTAH for their possible interest in the games. Burlington in particular was being looked at as playing a larger role
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