The province will no longer support the bid for hosting the 2030 Commonwealth Games, according to the ministry of tourism and sports and Calgary’s mayor says that means the bid is essentially cancelled.
The press secretary to the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Joseph Schow, confirmed the news in an emailed statement to CBC News Thursday afternoon.
“We promised to remain transparent with Albertans about the costs of hosting international sporting events and clearly demonstrating a return on our investment for the people and communities of Alberta,” wrote Mackenzie Blyth.
“In the case of the 2030 Commonwealth Games, the numbers just didn’t add up for our government to commit taxpayer’s money with the games estimated to cost $2.68 billion.”
The emailed statement went on to say that “corporate sponsorship model and limited broadcast revenues for the Commonwealth Games would have put 93 per cent of financial burden and risks on Albertans.”
Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek’s office said in an emailed statement Thursday that without the support of the province the bid is dead in the water.
“The provincial government’s decision to withdraw from Alberta’s 2030 Commonwealth Games bid process effectively terminates the bid and the City of Calgary’s participation,” the statement reads in part.
In a written statement to CBC News, Amanda Espinoza, executive director of operations with the Alberta 2030 Commonwealth Games Bid Committee, says she learned of the province pulling support on Wednesday.
“We are disappointed with the unexpected decision by the Government of Alberta,” she wrote.
“In less than a month we were going to share the plan with the public and were eager to have an open dialogue about community priorities, advancing Reconciliation and building a vision as Albertans that we could collectively work towards.”
She says in recent months they had worked closely in partnership on the joint bid with the province, the federal government, cities of Calgary and Edmonton, the Enoch Cree Nation and the Tsuut’ina Nation, as well as community partners.
Previously, Espinoza said that the news of Australia’s Victoria state cancelling hosting the 2026 games wouldn’t impact Alberta’s exploration of hosting.
Three million dollars in provincial and municipal funding had already been spent exploring the feasibility of hosting the event, as of mid-July.
Canada is the only country exploring a bid for 2030.
The 2030 games will mark the 100th year of the event, first hosted in Hamilton, Ont.