21 Mar Hamilton will study idea of making a bid to host 2030 Commonwealth Games (Hamilton News)
” Nearly two years ago, and a few years after the trouble with landing the 2015 Pan Am Games, Hamilton councillors wanted nothing to do with the city hosting the 2030 Commonwealth Games.
Now after a municipal election, and with P.J. Mercanti of the Carmen’s Group promoting the fact Hamilton could host the games without investing any money into what could be a $1.5 billion event, councillors want staff to take another look at a bid possibility.
“The opportunity is the legacy that is left behind,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who has been a cheerleader for the city to make a bid to host global sports events.
“I’m very supportive. There is a cost-benefit return on these projects.”
He said Hamilton managed to build Tim Horton’s Field as part of the city’s legacy after it hosted the soccer event for the 2015 Pan Am Games that were predominately located in Toronto.
Mountain Coun. Terry Whitehead, another advocate for bidding for the games, said it’s an opportunity to invest in the city’s sports infrastructure.
“I am fully endorsing it,” said Whitehead, who backed the idea in 2017.
Even Ward 4 Coun. Sam Merulla, who in 2017 said even talk of Hamilton making a bid was a “basket of lunacy” now says it is an opportunity to acquire some affordable housing. He also stated at the time Hamilton needs to “focus in on issues that really matter.”
“I think it is a basket of opportunity,” he said.
Mountain Coun. Esther Pauls was the most vocal advocate for Hamilton to submit a bid, calling it a “win-win on all fronts.”
During a council meeting in September, 2017, councillors voted 10-5 against a last-ditched attempt by Eisenberger to have staff examine the possibility of hosting the Commonwealth Games.
Mercanti, during a presentation to Hamilton councillors on behalf of a group called Hamilton 100, said the city should host what would be the 100th anniversary of the 1930 games in Hamilton, at the time called the British Empire Games.
“It would truly allow us to transform this city to become a sports destination,” said Mercanti, wearing a replicate white jacket worn by M.M. Robinson, the Hamilton Spectator sports reporter who championed to hold the British Empire Games in the city.
“Let’s swing for the fences to do everything we can to set our children up for success.”
Read more: Hamilton Community News