February 11, 2015 (Edmonton, AB) – The City of Edmonton has officially dropped its bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games reports CBC. On Tuesday, Mayor Don Iveson announced that Premier Jim Prentice told him the Alberta government would not be the primary financial backer of the bid. Previously, Alberta had offered to pay for the majority of the estimated $1 billion cost of the Games. Alberta’s political U-turn on the 2022 Games is prompted by falling oil revenues, a major source of income for the oil-rich province. The mayor said the city will now concentrate its efforts on bidding for the 2026 Games.
In December, Edmonton city council gave the green light to proceed on a $112-million facility including a 250m indoor velodrome as part of the infrastructure to be built for the 2022 Games. Pedal contacted Jeff Bakal, who is on the Board of Directors for the Argyll Velodrome Association and he is confident the velodrome project will go ahead.
“They did indeed pull the plug on the bid, which is too bad. As far as the Velodrome, this shouldn’t have a huge impact on our plan,” said Bakal. “The Coronation Centre is planned as a city recreation facility with a velodrome and our plans and fundraising will go ahead as scheduled as it wasn’t conditional on the Games.
“We were preparing for slight variations on our fundraising campaign for whether we won the bid or not. Certainly the 2022 Games would have been a great opportunity to showcase the new facility, but we will find or make another one!”