18 Jun Hamilton’s 2030 Commonwealth Games bid clears another hurdle (Hamilton News)
P.J. Mercanti of the Carmen’s Group, who is helping to spearhead a private sector effort to land the 100th Commonwealth Games for Hamilton in 2030, says the event will prove to be beneficial and affordable for both the city and taxpayers.
“We want to make sure that this is a major net positive for the City of Hamilton,” Mercanti told city council at the June 5 general issues committee meeting. “We will not move forward unless it is a win for every part of the city.”
Yet, preliminary cost estimates from the 2018 Commonwealth Games held in Australia reveal the price tag was over $1.8 billion. The cost to hold the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014 and the 2022 games in Birmingham, England is about $1.5 billion, said Commonwealth Games Canada officials. They said about $1 billion is used for operational costs, while $500 million is for capital improvements.
If there is a funding arrangement with the federal and provincial governments to pay for the games, Hamilton could conceivably be responsible for shelling out about $500 million for capital and operating expenses, said Stoney Creek Coun. Brad Clark.
Mercanti disputed how much Hamilton could be on the hook for, calling Clark’s figures “not necessarily true.”
He said the business case for the games need to be prepared first, while also incorporating how to maximize potential revenue such as naming rights and other new revenues.
“There is a whole plethora of revenue streams that could be available that we will look at,” said Mercanti.
Hamilton councillors unanimously approved a motion by private group, Hamilton 100, to lay the ground work for the bid for the 2030 games. A report from staff, including a memorandum of understanding with Hamilton 100, will be presented in early November. The group must submit a hosting proposal document to Commonwealth Games Canada by Nov. 22. The document will include the impact of the games, sports programs, dates, venues, finances and stakeholder assistance.
Commonwealth Games Canada is scheduled to select its preferred city to host the games in the spring of 2020.