Toronto’s bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games appears to be over after a City Council Committee ruled it would be too expensive and too much of a risk.
The report published in insidethegames.biz , compiled by the city’s Economic Development Committee, also warned about a supposed lack of support from Federal and Provincial authorities.
“Staff have reviewed the opportunity to bid on the 2022 Commonwealth Games using the evaluation criteria set out by the Mayor’s Advisory Panel on International Hosting Opportunities,” concluded the opening summary.
“While hosting the Games has the potential to generate significant economic and tourism benefits for Toronto, staff are recommending that Toronto not pursue a bid at this time given the following major risks and constraints.”
A final decision is now expected to be made by the City Council at its next meeting scheduled for June 28.
It appears virtually certain that they will follow the recommendation of the experts panel.
Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) have said they will “respect” the City Council verdict.
“Although disappointed, CGC respects any decision the City of Toronto makes,” the CGC’s chief executive Brian MacPherson told insidethegames.
“After all a Games bid, and hosting, is only successful if it has strong local support.
“Better to determine the level of this support upfront.
“In this respect CGF’s new collaborative bid process did its job by providing the City of Toronto with all the information they required to make a duly considered and informed decision.”
Victoria, which hosted the 1994 Commonwealth Games, is also considering a bid.
“CGF and CGC continues to work with officials in Victoria, and the British Columbia Government, to determine if it will submit a 2022 Commonwealth Games bid,” McPherson told insidethegames.
The Economic Development Committee claimed that the lack of firm commitments of support from other funding authorities, including the Federal and Provincial Governments, increases “financial, operational and reputational” risks to the city.
A risk that “request for investment in the Commonwealth Games could come at the expense of funding for other City priorities such as transit and housing” is also highlighted.
A “lack of certainty on the availability of resources to host the Commonwealth Games” is also mooted as well as a “lack of community engagement” and a “lack of resources and expedited timelines to bid”.
It is estimated that the public sector costs to host the Games would probably be in the “hundreds of millions of dollars” and that the city currently has no funding source to finance this.
Toronto was inspected last week by a Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) delegation led by chief executive David Grevemberg.
Canada is one of four countries who had expressed an interest in staging the 2022 Commonwealth Games following the decision earlier this year to take the event away from Durban because of concerns over the lack of financial guarantees.
The Australian Commonwealth Games Association is set to make a choice from Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
Birmingham and Liverpool are battling for the English nomination. Malaysia is also bidding.
The CGF are due to begin a three-day visit to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow. They have not announced specific time-frames for a decision to be made.