February 10, 2015 7:05 pm
Updated: February 11, 2015 2:41 am

City of Edmonton withdraws bid for 2022 Commonwealth Games


WATCH ABOVE: Vinesh Pratap reports on the unanimous and “disappointing” decision by city council to withdraw its bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

EDMONTON — Mayor Don Iveson revealed Tuesday that the city’s bid for the 2022 Commoweath Games has been withdrawn.

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City council met privately earlier in the day to discuss the decision. Putting on the games was expected to cost about $1 billion. Funding was primarily to come from the provincial government, which encouraged the city to put in a bid last spring. Since then, though, provincial leadership has changed — as has the state of Alberta’s economy.

READ MORE: Alberta faces a ‘serious financial circumstance’ – Premier Prentice

Iveson said he was informed by Premier Jim Prentice that the province would be pulling the funding for the project, making it not feasible for the city to go ahead with its bid, despite feeling confident it would have won the bid.

The mayor called the decision disappointing but feels it’s the right one, and that the city needs to show fiscal restraint.

“Certainly it is frustrating,” he admitted. “A lot of time and energy has gone into this work and a lot of people across our multicultural community…were excited, people across the business community, people involved in sports of all levels, particularly tournament sports. There was a lot of excitement, and so it’s disappointing to let those people down.”

The city has spent about $2 million of its roughly $7 million bid budget to get the games. The provincial government has committed to cover about $1.5 million now that the bid has been pulled.

READ MORE: Is Edmonton’s pursuit of the 2022 Commonwealth Games worthwhile?

The city is now focusing its efforts on a possible bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

The mayor says they would most likely go to the federal government to help cover the costs.

The host city for the 2022 games will be selected September 2, 2015.

WATCH: Raw video of Tuesday’s news conference

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