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

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s fifth annual Dine Cowichan festival returns March 3-28. (File photo)
Business Notes: Dine Cowichan Festival is back

A look at what’s going on in business around the Cowichan Valley

Kyle Topping  skates for the Cowichan Valley Capitals during the 2015-16 BCHL season. (Citizen file)
Former Caps make news in pro ranks

Kyle Topping and Laurent Brossoit mark achievements

Duncan’s City Hall will get a seismic assessment this year. (File photo)
Duncan City Hall to get seismic assessment

City hopes grants will help pay for seismic upgrades

Vandals damaged a picnic table at Spectacle Lake Park with a chainsaw earlier this month. (Linda Mills photo)
Editorial: Vandals make victims of us all

It is infuriating when people target public property for vandalism.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

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

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Island teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

Teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressures from outside and within

Ella Donovan with mom Tina outside Fuller Lake Arena before heading onto the ice for practice. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Young Ladysmith skater watches and waits in battle against cancer

Ella Donovan’s tumour began a tumultuous time, but community support eased the burden

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Most Read