City asked to back Canada Games bid for 2019

Red Deer is eyeing the chance to host the Canada Winter Games in 2019, which would bring with them a multi-million dollar economic boost to the local economy.

Red Deer is eyeing the chance to host the Canada Winter Games in 2019, which would bring with them a multi-million dollar economic boost to the local economy.

City council will be asked on Monday to endorse a bid for the amateur sporting event, identify a bid committee of mainly community volunteers, and provide $200,000 out of the 2012 budget towards the entire bid process, including promoting and staging the bid tour.

The first phase of the process would require $5,000 that would come out of the Recreation, Parks and Culture operating budget.

“The City of Red Deer and Central Alberta are ripe for the hosting of these games,” says a staff report. “After the huge success of the 2006 Alberta Summer Games and the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, the community is anxiously anticipating the next ‘event.’”

The Winter and Summer Games alternate every two years, and each province and territory takes their turn.

The last time Alberta hosted Canada Games, they were Winter Games held in Grande Prairie in 1995. Throughout Alberta there could be many competitive bids.

A staff report indicates an opportunity for the host community to benefit from capital improvements to community facilities through a federal government investment of about $15 million.

The Winter Games are described as being one of the largest multi-sport events in the world. A total of 13 provinces and territories will participate, with more than 3,400 athletes from over 800 Canadian communities.

It will involve 19 national caliber sport competitions.

An estimated 120,000 visitors are expected to attend over 17 days of competition and three million visitors will watch via national television.

City council will review a Bid Red Deer 2019 document, prepared by Mike Klass and Lyn Radford, which outlines several aspects and benefits of this even.

In their report, they say the economic impact of hosting a Canada Winter Games event for a municipality is massive.

“The 2007 Canada Winter Games Economic Impact Assessment for Whitehorse, Yukon Territory indicated that the event, staged over two weeks, featured 2,600 athletes (1,300 per week), 2,300 coaches, managers, artists and officials and 3,900 volunteers.”

The report goes on to say the economic benefits for the Yukon, with the combined expenditures of visitors, capital construction and event organizers totalled nearly $90.7 million, resulting in a net increase of economic activity (GDP) of $75.2 million.

The economic impact for Red Deer of hosting the 2006 Alberta Summer Games for three days was $12 million.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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