The City of Surrey wants to host the BC Summer Games in 2026.
A bid application approved by the city council Monday (Sept. 14) includes BC Games Society-mandated financial commitments of $55,000 for “general expenses,” another $55,000 of “in-kind services and facilities toward hosting the Games,” plus $45,000 to pay for a full-time Games Operations Manager employed by the City for a nine-month period in advance of and during the Games, should they be awarded to Surrey.
On the flip side, the economic impact of hosting the event is estimated to be in the range of $2 million to $3 million, according to a report to council by Laurie Cavan, general manager of the Parks, Recreation & Culture Department.
“Planning for the BC Summer Games typically begins about two years prior to the Games,” Cavan notes in the report. “Typically, the BC Summer Games attracts about 3,600 participants during the four-day competition period. Benefits to the host community include significant economic impact created by the athletes, their families and visitors coming to the host city immediately prior to and during, following the Games.”
The City last hosted the BC Summer Games in 2012.
“These games were very successful in raising awareness of the abilities of BC athletes and showcasing the City as a sport tourism destination,” Cavan wrote. “Significant economic impact was received by the City, from hotels, restaurants, retail and other similar vendors. Nanaimo, B.C. estimates their economic impact from the hosting of the 2014 BC Summer Games resulted in the direct spending in their local economy of $1.1 million by participants as well as $821,00 by event organizers.”
Last February, the BC Games Society invited the City of Surrey to bid on one of four Games – winter or summer – in the years 2024 or 2026.
The 2026 BC Summer Games are scheduled for a four-day period in July of that year, and the deadline for bid submission is Feb. 18, 2021. A report on the invitation to host the BC Games was considered by the Parks, Recreation & Culture Committee at their June 17 meeting, when the committee moved to recommend to City Council that the City apply to host the 2026 BC Summer Games, with funding commitments as outlined by the BC Games Society.
With the 2022 BC Summer Games hosted by Prince George, the City of Maple Ridge was given the opportunity to host the 2024 Summer Games, and voted unanimously to do so at a March 24 council meeting.
“Our community will be ready to welcome the athletes, coaches and their families for an outstanding Summer Games competition,” Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden said in March.
with a file from Ronan O’Doherty, Black Press Media