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Alberta government withdraws support of 2030 Commonwealth Games bid

The province of Alberta withdrew its support for a possible bid to host the 2030 Commonwealth Games on Thursday, ending the chance of bringing the multi-sport event back to Canada.

Minister of Tourism and Sport Joseph Schow said in a statement that hosting the Games, which typically attract more than 4,000 athletes from the 54 nations of the Commonwealth, was not in line with the interests of Alberta taxpayers.

Schow said that according to current bid estimates hosting the event “could result in a cost of up to CAN$2.68 billion (US$2.01 billion).

“The corporate sponsorship model and limited broadcast revenues for the Commonwealth Games would have put 93 percent of those costs and risks on taxpayers,” he added.

“We committed to remain transparent with Albertans about the costs of hosting international sporting events and clearly demonstrating a return on our investment for the people and communities in Alberta,” Schow said.

“That is why we have made the decision not to continue pursuing the bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games.”

The move comes weeks after the Australian state of Victoria pulled out of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games because of escalating costs, leaving organizers “hugely disappointed.”

Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews said the initial estimate of Aus$2 billion (US$1.36 billion) needed to hold the games would more likely be closer to Aus$7 billion.

Commonwealth Sport Canada, the body responsible for organizing Canadian teams participating in the Commonwealth Games, had been expected to complete a feasibility study for a 2030 Commonwealth Games bid by Alberta later this month.

They issued a statement saying they believed Victoria’s decision to withdraw from hosting 2026 “was a significant factor” in the provincial government’s decision to pull the plug.

Canada has hosted four Commonwealth Games, in 1930, 1954, 1978 and 1994.

The last edition of the event was held in 2022 in Birmingham, after the English city stepped in to replace Durban in South Africa, which was stripped of hosting rights after a series of missed deadlines and financial problems.

Victoria was the exclusive bidder for the 2026 edition.

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