The City of Lloydminster might be seeing athletes from across Saskatchewan gather in our city in a few years.
City Council voted on Tuesday to work with local partners in preparation for submitting a bid for the 2020 Saskatchewan Games. The City was looking at both Alberta and Saskatchewan for potential bids, but after some debate the City did go forward with working on the Saskatchewan bid.
“It would have been ideal to host both sets of games, but as you can appreciate and as administration indicated, we only have so many volunteers, we only have so many city staff and it takes a lot of staff and volunteers to organize two sets of games. I would think we would be very much strained to have accepted both sets if we were awarded.”
City Council looked at the number of athletes each summer games would bring in, the Saskatchewan games would bring in approximately 2,000 while the Alberta games would have 3, 000. As well the council looked at the events each games host and felt the City would not be able to host all of the activities listed for Alberta, specifically whitewater canoeing.
Another factor into the decision was the grant funding available. The Saskatchewan games has $670, 000 in funding, the Alberta games has $420, 000. Aalbers says that even with the funding he understands there is still financial implications.
“We’ll work with what we have, improve what we have if we have to. If the opportunity exists to build new, we’ll certainly take advantage of that to increase the value of our community.”
Aalbers says the potential facility upgrades is one of the advantages to hosting the games.
“We’ll look at arenas and all sorts of events and locations and what needs to be done. This will give us the opportunity to give the City some direction. We may look at additional ball diamonds for example to meet those summer game needs. By looking at the whole application, it just improves our city dramatically.”
Other benefits include the economic side. According to the Sport Tourism Economic Assessment Model calculations, the Saskatchewan Summer games in Estevan generated an economic impact more than $5 million.
The next step is for the City to decide if they will go ahead with the bid, if they decide to do so then a formal resolution will need to be made by October 16.