July 27, 2018 5:46 pm
Updated: July 27, 2018 6:10 pm

Alberta pitches in $3.5M for Edmonton to host 2020 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final

The men's elite race at the ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final Sunday, August 31, 2014.

Kevin Jesus, Global News

With triathlon fever running high in Edmonton this weekend, the Alberta government announced on Friday it is throwing in $3.5 million for the capital city to host the 2020 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final.

This will be the third time Edmonton has hosted the elite sporting event, which is expected to generate about $44.5 million in economic activity for the area.

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“Alberta continues to build an international reputation for its ability to successfully host large-scale sporting events like the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final,” Culture and Tourism Minister Ricardo Miranda said in a news release Friday.

“This event will shine a global spotlight on our province and will have far reaching impacts not only for our economy and tourism, but for our athletes, coaches and volunteers.”

READ MORE: Edmonton likely but not guaranteed to host 2026 World Cup games: ‘There’s more work to do’

The five-day event, which will be held from Aug. 19 to 23, 2020. It will see 3,500 athletes from 70 countries converge on the Edmonton area, including those destined for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The competition includes men’s and women’s elite races, U23 races, a Para-triathlon and races in both sprint and Olympic distances. The event will be held at Hawrelak Park and weave through the streets of Edmonton. More than 150,000 spectators are expected to attend the event.

The grand final will be television by 40 international broadcasters in 150 countries.

READ MORE: Big events in Edmonton bring city new visitors and prestige

“This event is a true showcase for Canada, Alberta and Edmonton,” said Sheila O’Kelly president of World Triathlon Edmonton.

Beyond the triathlon, several other events are planned including a festival in the downtown core, a parade of nations and both opening and closing ceremonies.

READ MORE: Top triathletes in Edmonton for ITU world series event

Edmonton will become only the second city to host the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final three times. Lausanne, Switzerland is the only other city to have done so.

Edmonton last hosted a grand final event in 2014. This weekend, Edmonton is playing host to the ITU World Triathlon Series.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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