Sunday, June 3, 2007

900 Million For Commonwealth Games

The Chronicle Herald is reporting that we may have up to $900 Million to spend on the Commonwealth Games if we get them. The estimated costs are $785 million which means that at the end of it all it will likely go well past $1 billion. While I am a huge supporter of big events and spending lots, this seems like a whole lot of money. The Federal Government’s pledged nearly $400 million and corporate sponsors would likely pitch in another $145 million, but even with all of those contributions, Haligonians and Nova Scotians will be left with a healthy tab.

Montreal just finished paying for their Olympics this year. Through histroy, no matter how much optimism and good budgeting happens, a large event like this breaking even is a rare occurence. The big bonus is that we’d be left with a 25 000 seat stadium. Following that would, in all likelyhood be a CFL team. Again though, although a CFL team could be a booster to the local economy, there’s no guarantee. It hasn’t exactly been panning out that well for Ottawa over the last while…

I think it’s great that we’re considered to be a good place to host an event such as the Commonwealth Games, but the risks in this venture are growing every day. Not to mention that without a proper public transit system, the city will move at a snail’s pace for the duration of the games.

All that being said, I am a pessimist and the bid organisers as well as the selection committee seem very optimistic about what we can acheive. We’ll just have to wait until we find out who wins the bid to host the 2014 games and take it from there. Besides, by then I may have moved on to some other city


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