2021 Summer Games update
The vision and reality of the 2021 Canada Summer Games is expected to come into focus over the next several weeks.
Niagara was awarded the games two years ago and over the last several months, work has been going on behind the scenes in a variety of areas.
“The planning process has been that we have prepared detailed designs, we’ve developed construction cost estimates, we’ve developed a construction schedule, we’ve identified the government funding programs, and we’re in the last phase now which is to make the request for commitments and confirmation of different financial funding commitments,” games chairman Doug Hamilton said. “We’re entering the last phase of our planning to get those finalized commitments. They’ll be coming together over the next few weeks and then we’re ready to move forward.”
Hamilton said the infrastructure plan has been costed out for just more than $98 million.
“We have some of those funding commitments that were in place during the bid process,” Hamilton said. “We’ve now made those funding requests from all those levels of government, as well as to Brock, and over the next few weeks each of them is going back to consider their financial support and will be discussing it and hopefully getting back to us in the next few weeks.”
The committee has made financial requests of the federal and provincial governments. Brock University is considering their financial position tomorrow at their board meeting Thursday while the City of St. Catharines will be discussing the issue at their council meeting Monday. As well, The Region of Niagara and City of Thorold will be discussing their contributions next week.
“They are all in discussions about how they best split that,” Hamilton said. “There are a number of things that will be happening over the couple of weeks.”
The crown jewels of the project will be three legacy facilities — Canada Games Park next to Brock University, The Henley Training Centre on Henley Island, and a turf baseball training facility in Niagara Falls.
“As well, there will be upgrades to facilities across the region. Baseball fields, softball fields, a new pool, a number of those types of things,” Hamilton said. “These are projects we are delivering on behalf of the region. Projects that were identified during Niagara’s bid.
“What Niagara has to do now, as well as the other levels of government, is determine if these are projects they still want they want to do because these were projects that have been identified for a long time.”
Hamilton would love to see a 100 per cent commitment across the board.
“It all needs to come together. We have some money that’s been committed and we can do some things, but much of the infrastructure planned won’t proceed if we don’t get the additional funding we are requesting.”
The Games will take place from Aug.6-22 and the Niagara Region will welcome more than 5,000 participants competing in 18 sports. The Games will be both the largest sporting and cultural event to ever be held in Niagara and the largest Canada Games to date.
The Canada Games have historically been a catalyst for the development of sport and recreation facilities in communities across Canada. Recently, $250 million in sport, recreation, and other infrastructure projects were built in Red Deer, Alta., for the 2019 Winter Games.
With a projected economic impact of $400 million, largely as a result of the infrastructure projects, the 2021 Canada Games in Niagara will also support more than 2,100 local jobs.
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