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Monday, May 25, 2009

edmonton universiade 2015: denied.

After putting on the appearance of tough campaigning by the City of Edmonton and Province of Alberta officials, the University of Alberta was denied its opportunity to host the Universiade Games in 2015.

'Appearances,' included sending a delegation of officials to Europe, including spending +$6,000 to send Tourism Minister Cindy Ady and her Executive Assistant to Belgium before sources close to Edmonton's bid committee admitted this weekend that they knew their chances were slim (perhaps University President Indira Samerasekra used up her political capital at the Bilderberg Conference earlier this month).

According to University of Alberta Students' Union President Kory Mathewson, a successful bid could have seen the University invest in kind of infrastructure and capital improvements that it saw when it played host to the 1983 Universiade:

"The (Games) offered the potential to address critical issues facing our university, such as a severe lack of student residences and a general space shortage on campus, so this is a setback for students."
While the City can't expect to win every event it bids to host, competing for these types of international events can do a lot to help raise the profile of Edmonton (and help debunk our newfound Albertan image as Northumberland-on-the-Energy-Beach).


Anonymous said...

I think the time, money and effort spent on these losing bids would be better off aimed directly at the problems your post mentioned.

Why do we need a "world class event" (one I've never heard of) to be the catalyst for repairs and upgrades that are needed anyways?

This mentality assures that our City only moves forward when the world is watching. Instead, we should be moving forward ALL of the time.

Denny said...

Seeing as I'm no longer contractually forbidden from publicly commenting on stuff to do with the University or the Students' Union.

I'm gong to agree with Anonymous at 8:48, I've never really bought the whole "we need games to get this investment done." Sure someone is going to bring up that it would have brought in grants from the federal and provincial governments for facilities that really do need to be built. The province and federal government really should be investing in these things anyways. They should not be using the excuse that some sporting event is not being held at the University as an excuse to get out of investing in critical infrastructure.

daveberta said...

I agree with both of you, but a successful bid would have likely helped get the funding for those kinds of facilities quicker. It's politics.

Jennifer said...

That's too bad ... I'm with you, Dave, that a major event is often the catalyst to leverage other significant funding avenues to invest in infrastructure for the long-term, something a municipality is rarely able to do on its own.

It's also an increasing trend to market face-to-face ... 'the process' itself is becoming just as important.


Denny said...

I agree that that would secure funding for these facilities quicker, but I still don't agree that that is a good enough justification for an event like this.

Essentially people are arguing that the University should invest millions of dollars that could potentially be better spent elsewhere (like on students) in order to host a short sports event that nobody will pay attention to outside of Edmonton, in order to secure funding that they need and should be receiving anyways. Same goes for the city spending money on the event.

Then, instead of arguing that these facilities are needed no matter what, representatives from the SU give the Government and the University a by and essentially say "oh well, that's too bad, maybe next time."