March 20, 2019 6:00 am

Rick Zamperin: Should Hamilton host the 2030 Commonwealth Games?

A group of Hamilton residents will pitch city council on the idea of hosting the 2030 Commonwealth Games on Wednesday.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
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Should Hamilton host the 2030 Commonwealth Games?

It’s a question that has been asked before and will return to the forefront Wednesday when a local group called Hamilton 100 makes its pitch to city council.

Carmen’s Group CEO P.J. Mercanti is one of the individuals spearheading the group, which wants to bring the centennial anniversary of the international sporting event to the city.

READ MORE: Local group pressures Hamilton council to bid for 2030 Commonwealth Games

Hosting the Commonwealth Games comes with some pros and cons.

On the plus side, Hamilton is in desperate need of legacy projects, such as a multi-sport complex, an Olympic-sized pool and a new arena, and getting government funding to address those needs will save local taxpayers in the long run.

There’s also a civic pride factor that comes with hosting the Games, and the city would certainly be in the spotlight.

On the downside — and it’s a big one — hosting an international event of this size does come with a hefty price tag.

The city has to house athletes and coaches from around the world, and security isn’t cheap, either.

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The cost to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England is projected to be more than $1 billion.

But if the “private-sector, business-minded approach” that Hamilton 100 is touting prevents the 2030 Games from becoming a money-losing enterprise, city councillors should at least investigate the opportunity.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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