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Mike Hennessy, Lawyer
Quality Inn - Sudbury
Monday, Jul. 24, 2017
Sudburians encouraged to support Canada Summer Games bid
2016-08-18
by Randy Pascal

The City of Greater Sudbury has advanced to the "Final Four", to coin a sporting vernacular.

The host city/cities for the 2021 Canada Summer Games has/have been narrowed down to four Ontario bids, with Sudbury now duking it out with Ottawa, the Niagara Region, and a conglomorate of Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge-Guelph.

The next formal step in the decision-making process comes on Friday, August 26th, when the Games Council's Technical Review Committee will spend the day visiting sites and venues across Sudbury, all part of the bid evaluation process.

While most of this visit will occur without much fanfare, local sporting enthusiasts are encouraged to come out and show their support at the Northern Water Sports Centre, arriving around 6:45 p.m. in anticipation of the Committee visit at 7:05 p.m. or so.

Essentially, City officials are looking to demonstrate the excitement and pride with which the community approaches hosting of large-scale sporting events, one in this case which offers a potential economic impact of $165 million dollars.

"This is the largest bid opportunity that our community has ever pursued, and the event has the potential to increase our impact on the national and international stages," noted Mayor Brian Bigger in an accompanying media release.

The 2021 Games would bring together some 4600 coaches and athletes, covering off 19 different sports, over a two-week span that would run from July 29th through to August 15th (2021).

From a local perspective, there would be a guaranteed infusion of $9MM in sporting infrastructure spending, that bill split evenly between the municipal, provincial and federal governments.

Following the site visit, a decision will be made to narrow down to potentially three finalists, with that news to be delivered on September 9th (2016). Though some fear the Sudbury bid will be dwarfed by larger cities, that is likely not the disadvantage one might think.

"We are a big city with a small town feel," said Paul Schweyer, Major Events Development Officer for the City of Greater Sudbury. "If the Games come to Sudbury, they would be "THE" event, instead of getting lost in the mix."

In fact, he noted that part of the Games mandate is to ensure that the event is rotated right across the country, and not just to those areas that are part and parcel of the larger urban concentrations.

While Winnipeg will be the host city in 2017, recent Games have included Sherbrooke in 2013 (154,600 population), the province of Prince Edward Island in 2009 (140,204) and the likes of Brandon (46,061), Kamloops (85,678) and Thunder Bay (109,140) in the 1980s and 1990s.

Furthermore, the Canada Winter Games have paid recent visits to Prince George (BC), Whitehorse and Cornerbrook (Newfoundland). Taking to social media, the City has encouraged the use of "#sudbury2021".

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In advance of the Technical Review Committee visit on August 26th, SportLink - Greater Sudbury Sport Council will be hosting an "Open House" to raise awareness both of the Canada Summer Games bid, as well as the benefits of Sports Tourism, in general.

Representatives of SportLink and the City will be present on the evening of Tuesday, August 23rd, to answer questions from 5:00 until 9:00 p.m., at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex, in the room that has been set aside as the future home of the Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Games, and what can be done to assist Sudbury in securing the event, is welcomed to stop by for a visit.

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