David Black speaks at a 2017 news conference urging B.C. to bid on the 2022 Commonwealth Games, after serving as a director for the 1994 event hosted by Victoria. (Black Press Media files)

David Black speaks at a 2017 news conference urging B.C. to bid on the 2022 Commonwealth Games, after serving as a director for the 1994 event hosted by Victoria. (Black Press Media files)

OP-ED: B.C. tourism needs a boost from 2026 Commonwealth Games

‘Far more profitable’ than 1994 event hosted by Victoria

COVID-19 has hurt British Columbia badly. It will not be easy to get our economy moving up again quickly. All countries in the world will race to increase their manufacturing and tourism.

How will we compete with them? It is simple: Hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games will do it.

During the next few years, the Games will employ a lot of people, support many local businesses, and promote tourism worldwide. But after 2026, B.C.’s tourism will increase dramatically because 2 billion people will watch our sport-streaming online. Two billion people.

We will continue to show beautiful summer pictures and videos of Victoria, Vancouver, B.C., and Canada on the streams for three weeks and it will result in a big increase in tourism and in more international students over the next 10 to 20 years.

B.C. needs that. If we do not do it, B.C. and its cities and towns will have huge deficits because all tourist facilities will be in trouble.

B.C. had $22 billion of tourism in the year before COVID-19 and the B.C. government received $2 billion of taxes from the tourism businesses. The Games will bring that back and no doubt increase tourism by at least 10%. Therefore, the B.C. government will get at least $200 million more in taxes every year after 2026.

RELATED: John Furlong joins 2022 Commonwealth Games bid group

RELATED: B.C. government won’t fund 2022 Commonwealth Games bid

The 2026 Commonwealth Games will be far larger and more profitable than the 1994 Games we hosted in Victoria.

We are proposing a budget of $1 billion. The money will be provided by the Canadian and B.C. governments as well as from streaming advertising. The governments will get back half their contributions in taxes as the billion dollars are spent in the lead-up to 2026, and then earn more from increased tourism in subsequent years. Municipalities and local citizens will not have to fund any part of the budget.

We will build up to 2,000 new apartments for the 8,000 Games athletes, by providing the required down-payments. The mortgages we arrange will be paid off by ongoing affordable rentals after the Games.

We will build another Commonwealth pool, another major ice arena with a European sized rink, a major fieldhouse, a new cycling track, several hockey, lacrosse, and cricket fields, a proper 2,000-meter rowing facility, and many other facility improvements and additions.

We will have one Games sport in Vancouver, two in Richmond, and at least one in every Victoria municipality. We will provide funds for each municipality as a result, and all citizens will enjoy being closer to the sport competitions than we were able to achieve in 1994.

There will be more than $100 million provided for wages and more than $300 million for payments to local businesses.

We will provide $25 million for all the Games festivals which will include our artists, musicians, Indigenous people, and others.

The Games and their facilities will also be wonderful for our athletes and the following generations of British Columbians.

The housing and the new sport facilities built will surely be required as Victoria continues to grow. Doing it because of the Games will save Victoria, BC, and locals from having to pay for it themselves over the next 20 years. After the Games they will be transferred for free to the municipalities and universities for continued operation.

In summary, the 2026 Commonwealth Games will help our province, its businesses, and its citizens enormously. We are optimistic that the B.C. government will agree in principle.

— David Black is executive chairman of Black Press Media and a director of the 1994 Commonwealth Games hosted in Victoria. He writes on behalf of the bid committee that sought the 2022 Games.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available by appointment only from March 10 to 12 and March 15 to 19 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Bella Coola General Hospital (file photo)
COVID vaccinations open to Valley residents as of March 10

Starting today all residents of the Bella Coola Valley 18+ can book their vaccination appointments

Jovin Walkus and Alayah Mack enjoy the Centennial Pool in summer 2020. (Geneva Walkus photo)
CCRD receives more funding for Centennial Pool project

The total funding for the project is now over $4 million

Provincial funding in the amount of $300,000 has been announced for the Cariboo Regional District’s plans to improve the Anahim Lake Airport runway. (CRD photo)
$300,000 provincial funding to fuel Anahim Lake Airport runway upgrade

The recovery grant is one of 38 announced to support jobs in rural communities

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

Most Read