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

Items seized by Chilliwack RCMP and Abbotsford Police during a Feb. 23 traffic stop. (RCMP photo)
Police from Chilliwack and Abbotsford seize drugs in traffic stop

Chilliwack RCMP worked with the Abbotsford PD to seize four kilograms of suspected fentanyl

(Black Press file photo)
Chilliwack RCMP looking for man who tried to grab boy near Robertson elementary school

A man in a parked minivan reached out the driver side window as a young boy passed by

Hope’s station house, moved from its original location along the railroad to 111 Old Hope Princeton Way. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
Some Canadians are finding butter harder than usual, resulting in an avalanche of social media controversy around #buttergate. (Brett Williams/The Observer)
#Buttergate: Concerns around hard butter hit Agassiz and beyond

The first in a three part series on dairy farming, palm oil and Canadian consumers

real estate sign
Chilliwack’s February real estate numbers show homes flying off the market

President of the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board said he’s ‘never seen anything like it’

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

Photo: Surrey RCMP
Surrey RCMP arrests two boys, age 16, during dial-a-dope investigation in Whalley

Sergeant Elenore Sturko said one boy is ‘alleged to have been in possession of a loaded handgun at the time of his arrest’

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read