Edmonton has withdrawn its bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The City of Edmonton, the Edmonton 2022 Bid Committee and Commonwealth Games Canada announced Tuesday that they won’t proceed with Edmonton’s bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and will instead focus on bidding for the 2026 Games.
Since Edmonton announced its intention to bid, the Alberta government’s fiscal program dropped from a $500 million surplus to a $7 billion deficit due to the drop in world oil prices.
Bid Chairman Reg Milley said, “in light of this, we determined that we could not in good conscious put forth our bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. We strongly believe in the values of the Commonwealth Games and all that they stand for which is why this has not been an easy decision for us, as our team has been working tirelessly these last months to put together an extraordinary bid. But we believe that at this time it would not be right to move forward with our bid when cuts are being made in our communities to programs like in education and health”.
Richard Powers, President of Commonwealth Games Canada said, “we have spoken to the Commonwealth Games Federation CEO David Grevemberg and he expressed his disappointment that we are not proceeding with our bid, noting all the hard work that has gone into the Edmonton 2022 bid. He reaffirmed that the Federation was committed to working closely with us as we refocus our efforts to bring Games back to Canada in 2026”.
Bid CEO Simon Farbrother added, “we are of course very saddened by this decision, but we know that this is the right one for the future of our city, province and country. The Commonwealth Games have strong roots in Canada and we plan to be able to come back for the 2026 Games should the economic status allow. Of course, we are committed to supporting all sport events coming to our wonderful city and especially look forward to welcoming the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer”.
Edmonton hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1978.
Halifax was Canada’s last bid for the Commonwealth Games in 2014, but that city also dropped out before the election due to funding issues. Glasgow won the bid.
Durban, South Africa is the other contender for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. South Africa also has aspirations to host the Olympic Games in 2024.
The host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games will be selected Sept. 2, 2015.