Calgary: Is It A Global Sports Event City?

Show everyone the money.  

Americans don’t know much about the Commonwealth Games, after all America doesn’t send a team to compete in an event that does capture some global attention. There are generally 71 teams at the Commonwealth Games and there are 53 members of the Commonwealth of Nations. All are associated with England as the 53 members are part of Great Britain in some way. The first Commonwealth Games was held in Hamilton, Ontario in 1930 which is about on a good day an hour by car from Niagara Falls, New York. Calgary investors might want to host the 2026 version of the competition. The mayor, Naheed Nenshi, is on board but isn’t promising seed money. Nenshi was the same mayor who initially opposed the public funding of a new city arena that was to house the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames. A deal was worked out and Flames ownership is getting a subsidy to help pay for the building. The Canadian Football League Calgary Stampeders ownership wants a new football facility. There is another complication, Canada, along with Mexico and the United States, is part of the three-country hosting of the 2026 FIFA Men’s Soccer World Cup. There is federal money going into that.

Another hurdle, Hamilton plans on bidding for the 2030 Commonwealth Games. The 100th anniversary edition, a century after Hamilton hosted the first competition which was then known as the British Empire Games. Calgary has been attempting to become a global sports events city. Local investors wanted to bring the 2026 Winter Olympics to the region but the plan had little support. There was a major project planned called Calgary Next which would have included a Flames arena and a Stampeders stadium that fizzled. The Commonwealth Games Federation will award the 2026 event this spring, a year late because there were not enough bidders.

(AP Photo/Scott Kane)