The federal and provincial governments will write big cheques to underwrite Victoria’s bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games for at least $450-million, far less than the expected final cost.

Sports Canada will provide $300-million, and the province of B.C. will provide $150-million in funding plus give a guarantee against cost overruns, according to documents obtained by Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria.

“If history is any indication $450-million in government contributions amount to a down payment on the final costs,” says John Treleaven, vice-president of Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria.

“There is a time of crisis for Victoria and B.C. – fires burning an area the size of PEI, opiate deaths daily, critical housing shortages and transportation gridlock – that surely must be a more important priority.”

The local taxpayer can only wonder what the eventual municipal tax levy will be to make up some of the shortfall, says Treleaven.

Revelations about the $450-million initial funding was revealed in a letter from Mayor Steve Price of Sidney offering conditional support to Victoria’s bid to the president of the Commonwealth Games Federation in London, U.K.

This decision was made in a closed-door meeting of Sidney council without public discussion on June 26 and the letter was sent the next day.

This frantic, last-minute bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, will likely take at least $1-billion to pull it off in a truncated four-year period, three quarters of which will be bled from taxpayers.

Mega sports events don’t come cheap:

In 1994 the Victoria Commonwealth Games ended up costing 50 per cent greater than the initial budget and required significant additional taxpayer funding.

The 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games Cost $720-million (U.S.), of which almost 80 per cent was public (taxpayer) funding. At the time, the bill for security alone was $112-million (U.S.).

There’s a 2026 Calgary Olympic bid under consideration that estimates an initial budget of $4.6-bllion with $2.4-billion kicked in by taxpayers. A staff report to council recommended the financial implications of a bid be studied very carefully and that Calgary even consider the option of saying no to any involvement.

BACKGROUND:

‘Games’ being played with late Victoria bid’: Costs, transparency must be nailed down for city’s bid to land 2022 Commonwealth event, Vancouver Sun Op-Ed, http://grumpytaxpayers.com/2017/07/18/games-being-played-with-late-victoria-bid-vancouver-sun-op-ed/

The economic gamble behind hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Victoria , Times Colonist, http://grumpytaxpayers.com/2017/07/10/the-economic-gamble-behind-hosting-the-2022-commonwealth-games-in-victoria/