Hamilton’s Commonwealth Games bid team say they don’t need the city’s millions after all


A group that offered to host the Commonwealth Games in Hamilton in 2030 said it no longer needed the city’s money for venues, despite earlier plans showing the city would need to donate funds. million to make the project a reality.

Lou Frapporti, spokesperson for the Hamilton100 bid committee, says the idea of ​​using taxpayer money to bid for the games is obviously not popular with people. His team therefore plans to use private money to pay almost all of the costs of the offer.

“We are no longer looking for help and support from the city,” Frapporti told the city’s general questions committee on Wednesday.

“The initial funding request for sports infrastructure, we will almost completely privatize in various ways.”

If the city wants to include an initiative in the bid for the games, “we will accept this suggestion or this proposal and work with you,” said Frapporti. But, “there will be no requests for funding”.

This is a change from previous plans for the candidacy for the International Commonwealth Games Federation.

The group had originally planned to bid for the 2030 Games. That year will mark the centenary of the Games, which were first held in Hamilton in 1930, though then called the British Empire Games.

The group then pivoted to 2026, when it released an estimate of its work needs worth nearly $ 258 million for local sites. Of that amount, nearly $ 124 million was to come from senior levels of government, $ 75 million from the private sector, $ 15 million from educational institutions and $ 13 million from the city.

Then the province said it couldn’t help until at least 2027, and the group again focused on 2030.

“It’s understandable that divides”

Frapporti said on Wednesday the team will cover the costs privately in a way she will reveal in the coming weeks. Part of that change comes from the withdrawal of the construction of a new Athletes Village, which the city would have used later for affordable housing. Frapporti says the team is happy that there is enough student accommodation to accommodate the athletes.

Frapporti says the team doesn’t want to “distract” the city from its other goals, especially as public opinion on the bid is mixed.

“Soliciting the engagement of staff from this private group is divisive, and naturally it is,” he said.

PJ Mercanti is part of the bid team as well as the Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group (HUPEG), which is undertaking a massive redevelopment of the FirstOntario Center, FirstOntario Concert Hall and the Hamilton Convention Center. Mercanti says these two projects – and the planned light rail transport system in Hamilton – represent “an opportunity for urban renewal.”

Hamilton initially anticipated competing offers from Australia and the UK. Frapporti says most have backed off.

No other Canadian submission

“We absolutely have pole position,” he said. And “there will be no other submissions in Canada neither for 2026 nor for 2030”.

Advisors had little criticism to say about Frapporti’s presentation. Brad Clark (Ward 9, Upper Stoney Creek) asked if a private group would be the official host of the games.

Frapporti said the official host would still be Hamilton, but “it is entirely possible that a heavy private sector entity is a key part of it.” The city also has representatives on the concept review committee, he said.

Otherwise, “We are not speaking for you. You are in control of your own process.”

It is still unclear what costs the city would incur in terms of policing, road works and other municipal services.

The selected host city is expected to be named in 2023.

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