Commonwealth Games future uncertain as Canada’s Alberta drops 2030 hosting bid

ITV News' Callum Watkinson has the latest as Alberta drops its bid to host the 2030 Commonwealth Games

Alberta has dropped its possible bid to host the 2030 Commonwealth Games just weeks after the Australian state of Victoria withdrew from hosting the 2026 tournament, putting the future of the whole event in doubt.

The Canadian province decided to terminate a bid that would have involved the cities of Calgary and Edmonton.

Tourism and Sport Minister Joseph Schow estimated the price tag to be up to 2.68 billion Canadian dollars (£1.57billion), a bill that would have been landed largely at the feet of taxpayers.

A statement on the Alberta government’s website read: "We committed to remain transparent with Albertans about the costs of hosting international sporting events and clearly demonstrating a return on our investment for the people and communities in Alberta.

Birmingham hosted the 2022 games.

"That is why we have made the decision not to continue pursuing the bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games.

"Based on current bid estimates, hosting the 2030 Commonwealth Games could result in a cost of up to 2.68 billion dollars.

"The corporate sponsorship model and limited broadcast revenues for the Commonwealth Games would have put 93 per cent of those costs and risks on taxpayers.”

Last month, Victoria’s state premier Daniel Andrews said the original budget for the Games was estimated to be around 2.6 billion Australian dollars (£1.3billion) but had ballooned out to nearly triple that.

Katie Sadleir, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), said her organisation was "open" to discussions with all members with a view to replacing Victoria as hosts – including the UK.

Victoria's decision was heavily criticised by Commonwealth Games Australia chief executive Craig Phillips calling it "absolutely embarrassing."

Before that, Sadleir said the CGF will work with its lawyers on agreeing a suitable compensation deal with Victoria following its withdrawal.

Birmingham stepped in as hosts of the 2022 Games after the CGF stripped South African city Durban of hosting rights back in 2017.

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