Lloyd to bid on Games

By Geoff Lee

December 17, 2015 1:56 PM

We have the venues — and the know-how — to host the Winter Games

The city of Lloydminster is hoping to inject a few million dollars into the local economy — along with some priceless community spirit — if it wins the bid to host the 2018 Saskatchewan Winter Games.
Lloydminster council authorized the city to prepare and submit a bid to host the games at a cost of approximately $900,000.
The bid to the Saskatchewan Games Council must be submitted by Jan. 11 to be considered.
“It’s something to look forward to,” said Mayor Rob Saunders at Monday’s council meeting.
The city will be on the hook to cover any deficit from the games, but Saunders said that’s just a standard condition that comes with bidding to host the games.
“The success that Lloydminster has had in hosting provincial sporting events; we’ve usually been on the positive side,” said Saunders.
The city hosted one Winter Games in 1983 and three summer games, including the last one in 2008 at a cost of about $1.1 million.
“Usually our community looks forward to pitching in and supporting, both in volunteer and financial support,” said Saunders.
City officials met with the Games Council Nov. 25 for a question and answer session.
The $900,000 budget is offset by a hosting grant of $420,000 from the Games Council that also provides up to $70,000 in provincial corporate sponsorships to the host community.
The host society can also access a matching $250,000 legacy grant for facility upgrades or equipment purchases by raising $250,000 on its own.
That leaves the city needing to raise about $500,000 to $600,000 through fundraising, admissions, sponsorships and gift in-kind donations.
The games would attract more than 2,000 athletes in 17 sports over a two part seven day period in February 2018.
It would also draw approximately 5,000 spectators, officials, provincial media and mission staff all needing food and shelter.
The Winter Games is an opportunity for the province’s developing athletes, coaches and officials to participate in a multi-sport event in preparation for a higher level of competition.
Lloydminster’s games bid would include letters of support from both public and Catholic school divisions, Lakeland College, the Lloydminster Exhibition Association and local businesses and sports groups.
If the city wins the bid, a committee will be formed to ask the Lloydminster Economic Development Corporation to do an economic impact on the games.
“I think it would be beneficial to the city and to business owners,” said Coun. Larry Sauer, who introduced the bid at a council meeting.
“Overall it’s a chance to showcase our facilities.”
Sauer is the past chairman of the Games Council but won’t be on any bid committee.
He noted the city of Prince Albert hosted the last winter games in 2014 and estimates it generated more than $2.5 million in their community while upgrading local facilities and equipment.
Sauer said applying for the games fits the city’s strategy of being an event centre.
“In 2016 we have the RBC Cup coming up,” he said.
“After that we don’t have anything in the foreseeable future.”
He added the bid is a great opportunity to showcase our city, our facilities, our people and our businesses.
Sauer said he doesn’t think the city will have to build any new facilities, but the legacy grant will enable some venue improvements plus allow capital purchases of equipment for local sports organizations.
“We can have a chance to enhance some facilities for some local organizations, especially where they maybe don’t have such a large membership,” said Sauer.
Coun. Ken Baker recalled the 1983 Winter Games led to volunteers installing a T-bar and building a chalet at Mount Joy Snow Resort.
Sauer noted who ever is on the local games committee would make recommendations to council on where to spend the legacy funding.
Becoming the official host community rests on the decision of a bid selection committee set up by the Games Council.
Sauer said they would look at everything from facilities to accommodation and volunteers and compare the parameters with other bidders.
Saunders added you also have to have spectator acceptance as well.
He said he thinks the ability to host and create a life long experience for the athletes that are involved are key pieces of the bid package.
In a nutshell, he said, the key criteria to a winning Lloyd bid are the facilities, the experience and the ability to be successful.
“I am sure there will be similar communities but then you have to look at the time frames,” he said.
If somebody has just hosted they may not be in a volunteer position to host again.”

More News

LCSD hosts archbishop

The Lloydminster Catholic School Division (LCSD) had a special guest this week, as Archbishop Richard Smith toured multiple schools. more »

Falk talks first session in House of Commons

Battlefords-Lloydminster member of Parliament Rosemarie Falk is back in her constituency for the summer. She held a summer office open house this week for people to have a tour, drop by for a conversation,… more »

Health council opens channels

We have your back on healthcare. That’s what the Yellowhead East Health Advisory Council (HAC) told local and area residents during its latest meeting at the Lloydminster Hospital on June 20. more »

more »