November 14, 2017 4:00 am

Edmonton mulling bid for 2020 IAAF World U20 Championships

Seasonal Inflatable Dome at Foote Field (University of Alberta)

University of Alberta
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Edmonton city council is being asked to support a bid by TrackTown Canada to bring the 2020 IAAF World U20 Championships to Edmonton.

Initial bid documents were submitted in June, after city council approved $200,000 to do the preliminary work last year.

“Since the beginning of this year they’ve been doing the deep dive and getting their bid all developed,” deputy city manager Rob Smyth said.

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Now local organizers are asking for nearly $3.2-million over three years from the city. Smyth said that’s contingent on other funding from the federal government, worth $6.5-million, and $4.5-million from the province.

“The challenging thing is to orchestrate all of the public sector funding,” Smyth said. “Get that all figured out and, in most of these cases, the city is often first in and that gives the confidence to the province and the feds that we’re serious.”

READ MORE: Olympic hopefuls inspired by track & field trials in Edmonton

TrackTown is asking that the city “cover unconditionally any potential financial deficit of the future organizing committee in relation to the event, provide assistance to the local organizing committee with civic services, and help in marketing, ticket sales, and promotional support,” according to a report heading to Tuesday’s council meeting.

Smyth said it’s very likely council will defer the agenda item from Tuesday’s meeting to a council committee the following week since there’s no urgency to have the money put in place ahead of budget deliberations in December. That way they’ll be able to ask organizers more questions.

“They’ve met with the international group a few times and have gotten really good indications that if the funding is all in place from the different orders of government, including local government, then they’d be awarded the games,” Smyth said.

“It’s not a slam dunk but they’re pretty confident.”

According to the report, the total budget for the event is estimated at $18.1-million and an “estimated total economic impact in Canada of $27.1-million with a local Gross Domestic Product impact of $19.5-million.”

READ MORE: Montcalm earns Olympic spot at track & field trials in Edmonton

The vision is to use Foote Field for the competition, not Commonwealth Stadium. There would be 2,100 athletes competing from 170 countries, and the TV viewing audience would exceed 65 million in 140 countries.

“Our understanding is that we would know at the latest by the first quarter of 2018, they’ll know fairly quickly in terms of when it would be awarded,” Smyth said.

Request for funding for Edmonton to bid on 2020 IAAF World U20 Championships

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