Commonwealth Games 2026 option now up for discussion in Hamilton, Ont., says community group

A representative for a group of businesspeople and volunteers who have been trying to win the right to bring the 2030 Commonwealth Games to Hamilton says they are now being encouraged to act as Canada’s bid city for 2026 as well.

Hamilton 100 spokesman Lou Frapporti says the suggestion was made during a video conference on Wednesday with government officials and Commonwealth Games Federation leadership.

Frapporti says they’ve been given some time to consult with city staff, city council and other stakeholders.

He says it’s a “critical conversation to be open-minded about at this point,” noting that hosting the games in 2026 instead of 2030 could accelerate the resulting infrastructure investments by four years, along with the resulting tourism and employment benefits.

Frapporti believes it will be important to have that conversation in the weeks and months ahead, “when things get to be a bit more regular” following the “suffering and disturbance” caused by COVID-19.

Frapporti says Hamilton 100 is “quietly, behind the scenes, talking very intensely about this and trying to find a path forward.”

Commonwealth Games Canada had initially planned to announce whether Hamilton was its preferred bid city for 2030 by March 30, but that announcement has been postponed until further notice because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

City council voted 10-3 on Feb. 19 to endorse Hamilton 100’s proposal to bring the 2030 Commonwealth Games to Hamilton.

It has been estimated that more than $1.4 billion worth of infrastructure and facility upgrades would be needed if the city is selected and that the municipality would be responsible for up to 20 per cent of the cost of that investment.

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