Hamilton awaits answers on Games bid upset

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Hamilton Mayor Larry Di Ianni will wait until he meets with Commonwealth Games Canada officials in January before discussing the reasons Hamilton lost out to Halifax for the Canadian bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

"I'd like to think (Halifax) won the bid fair and square," said Di Ianni a day after the announcement was made.

"I have to accept that. I'm going to take the high road. But it is a puzzle. We had the most winnable bid, and Hamilton had the best chance to win the bid. I want to know why we were not selected. I will have to ask the CGC and I will press them on that."

The 2014 Bid Review Committee Chair Wayne Hellquist said Hamilton had an "incredibly" strong bid, but Halifax was just that much better. "The whole area of winnability was certainly something that factored into the deliberations," he said.

Hellquist cited Halifax's "conceptual plan" for the athlete's village, which was "extraordinarily good," and its transportation proposal to move athletes and visitors in and around the area.

Soon after CGC officials announced that Halifax had won during a morning news conference in Toronto last week, and as the stunned reaction on the faces of members of Hamilton's bid committee wore off, accusations started to make the rounds that something happened to skew the decision in Halifax's favour.

Media reports indicated Hamilton was asked to enter into the 2014 bid process with the understanding it would be selected as the host. But soon after, Commonwealth Games Canada officials asked for other cities to make a bid, creating a competition with Hamilton.

On the same day as Hamilton's defeat, former Liberal MP and Deputy-Prime Minister Sheila Copps said during media interviews that there had been a "secret" understanding made soon after the New Delhi vote in 2003 that would have resulted in Hamilton receiving the Canadian bid. She also blamed Jagoda Pike, Hamilton's Bid Committee chair, for the city losing out to Halifax. Hamilton bid committee members denied the allegations.

Some members of Hamilton's bid committee were beaming before the announcement was made in Toronto, with a few talking about what they had to do at the international level once it received the Canadian nod.

"People were confident in what we have done, but obviously nervous because it is a competition," said Di Ianni.

David Adames, Hamilton's bid vice-chair and executive director of Tourism Hamilton, was one of the members who believed Hamilton had the winning document.

"We thought we had laid everything out there. We had an outstanding presentation," he said. "I can't think of anything that we didn't do...I don't get it."

Members of the bid committee pointed out Hamilton was the only Ontario bid city that had made an agreement with the provincial government to smooth the way to hold the games in the province. It was this agreement that provided bid committee members some confidence in being selected to be the host city.

"I don't know what we could have possibility done differently," said Di Ianni. "I honestly don't know, other than engaging the other levels of government more directly. Our bid was strong, our plan was good."

Hamilton's Commonwealth Games bid proposed an $800-million event, which would result in a windfall of more than $1 billion. The city would have received a new stadium on the waterfront, a sports complex to replace Ivor Wynn Stadium, 11,000 jobs, over $400 million in wages and about $200 million in municipal taxes.

The event would have cost Hamilton taxpayers about $101 million to finance, with the federal and provincial governments chipping in to cover the bulk of the other expenses. The domestic bid cost Hamilton about $400,000.

"It's an opportunity, unfortunately, for our city that would have been transformative," said Di Ianni. "It would not only contribute to the Games, but it would have contributed to the legacy of the Games in Ontario. We will survive, obviously. We will continue to improve our community, but it would have been so much sweeter if we had these Games to help us in that transformation."

One politician who was glad the city lost the bid was Ward 15's Margaret McCarthy, the only councillor who voted against the city entering the bid process. She said the city doesn't have the resources to spend $100 million to chase these types of events.

Hamilton officials refused to speculate whether they would embark upon another bid for the Games, or for any other large-scale event for the city.

"It's too early," said Adames, who was also part of the bid team that lost out to New Delhi to host the 2010 Games. "I wouldn't want emotion to weigh in on my comment." Di Ianni said it would take a unique situation for Hamilton to plan another bid, after suffering two heart-wrenching losses in a row.

Hamilton awaits answers on Games bid upset

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Hamilton Mayor Larry Di Ianni will wait until he meets with Commonwealth Games Canada officials in January before discussing the reasons Hamilton lost out to Halifax for the Canadian bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

"I'd like to think (Halifax) won the bid fair and square," said Di Ianni a day after the announcement was made.

"I have to accept that. I'm going to take the high road. But it is a puzzle. We had the most winnable bid, and Hamilton had the best chance to win the bid. I want to know why we were not selected. I will have to ask the CGC and I will press them on that."

The 2014 Bid Review Committee Chair Wayne Hellquist said Hamilton had an "incredibly" strong bid, but Halifax was just that much better. "The whole area of winnability was certainly something that factored into the deliberations," he said.

Hellquist cited Halifax's "conceptual plan" for the athlete's village, which was "extraordinarily good," and its transportation proposal to move athletes and visitors in and around the area.

Soon after CGC officials announced that Halifax had won during a morning news conference in Toronto last week, and as the stunned reaction on the faces of members of Hamilton's bid committee wore off, accusations started to make the rounds that something happened to skew the decision in Halifax's favour.

Media reports indicated Hamilton was asked to enter into the 2014 bid process with the understanding it would be selected as the host. But soon after, Commonwealth Games Canada officials asked for other cities to make a bid, creating a competition with Hamilton.

On the same day as Hamilton's defeat, former Liberal MP and Deputy-Prime Minister Sheila Copps said during media interviews that there had been a "secret" understanding made soon after the New Delhi vote in 2003 that would have resulted in Hamilton receiving the Canadian bid. She also blamed Jagoda Pike, Hamilton's Bid Committee chair, for the city losing out to Halifax. Hamilton bid committee members denied the allegations.

Some members of Hamilton's bid committee were beaming before the announcement was made in Toronto, with a few talking about what they had to do at the international level once it received the Canadian nod.

"People were confident in what we have done, but obviously nervous because it is a competition," said Di Ianni.

David Adames, Hamilton's bid vice-chair and executive director of Tourism Hamilton, was one of the members who believed Hamilton had the winning document.

"We thought we had laid everything out there. We had an outstanding presentation," he said. "I can't think of anything that we didn't do...I don't get it."

Members of the bid committee pointed out Hamilton was the only Ontario bid city that had made an agreement with the provincial government to smooth the way to hold the games in the province. It was this agreement that provided bid committee members some confidence in being selected to be the host city.

"I don't know what we could have possibility done differently," said Di Ianni. "I honestly don't know, other than engaging the other levels of government more directly. Our bid was strong, our plan was good."

Hamilton's Commonwealth Games bid proposed an $800-million event, which would result in a windfall of more than $1 billion. The city would have received a new stadium on the waterfront, a sports complex to replace Ivor Wynn Stadium, 11,000 jobs, over $400 million in wages and about $200 million in municipal taxes.

The event would have cost Hamilton taxpayers about $101 million to finance, with the federal and provincial governments chipping in to cover the bulk of the other expenses. The domestic bid cost Hamilton about $400,000.

"It's an opportunity, unfortunately, for our city that would have been transformative," said Di Ianni. "It would not only contribute to the Games, but it would have contributed to the legacy of the Games in Ontario. We will survive, obviously. We will continue to improve our community, but it would have been so much sweeter if we had these Games to help us in that transformation."

One politician who was glad the city lost the bid was Ward 15's Margaret McCarthy, the only councillor who voted against the city entering the bid process. She said the city doesn't have the resources to spend $100 million to chase these types of events.

Hamilton officials refused to speculate whether they would embark upon another bid for the Games, or for any other large-scale event for the city.

"It's too early," said Adames, who was also part of the bid team that lost out to New Delhi to host the 2010 Games. "I wouldn't want emotion to weigh in on my comment." Di Ianni said it would take a unique situation for Hamilton to plan another bid, after suffering two heart-wrenching losses in a row.

Hamilton awaits answers on Games bid upset

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Hamilton Mayor Larry Di Ianni will wait until he meets with Commonwealth Games Canada officials in January before discussing the reasons Hamilton lost out to Halifax for the Canadian bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

"I'd like to think (Halifax) won the bid fair and square," said Di Ianni a day after the announcement was made.

"I have to accept that. I'm going to take the high road. But it is a puzzle. We had the most winnable bid, and Hamilton had the best chance to win the bid. I want to know why we were not selected. I will have to ask the CGC and I will press them on that."

The 2014 Bid Review Committee Chair Wayne Hellquist said Hamilton had an "incredibly" strong bid, but Halifax was just that much better. "The whole area of winnability was certainly something that factored into the deliberations," he said.

Hellquist cited Halifax's "conceptual plan" for the athlete's village, which was "extraordinarily good," and its transportation proposal to move athletes and visitors in and around the area.

Soon after CGC officials announced that Halifax had won during a morning news conference in Toronto last week, and as the stunned reaction on the faces of members of Hamilton's bid committee wore off, accusations started to make the rounds that something happened to skew the decision in Halifax's favour.

Media reports indicated Hamilton was asked to enter into the 2014 bid process with the understanding it would be selected as the host. But soon after, Commonwealth Games Canada officials asked for other cities to make a bid, creating a competition with Hamilton.

On the same day as Hamilton's defeat, former Liberal MP and Deputy-Prime Minister Sheila Copps said during media interviews that there had been a "secret" understanding made soon after the New Delhi vote in 2003 that would have resulted in Hamilton receiving the Canadian bid. She also blamed Jagoda Pike, Hamilton's Bid Committee chair, for the city losing out to Halifax. Hamilton bid committee members denied the allegations.

Some members of Hamilton's bid committee were beaming before the announcement was made in Toronto, with a few talking about what they had to do at the international level once it received the Canadian nod.

"People were confident in what we have done, but obviously nervous because it is a competition," said Di Ianni.

David Adames, Hamilton's bid vice-chair and executive director of Tourism Hamilton, was one of the members who believed Hamilton had the winning document.

"We thought we had laid everything out there. We had an outstanding presentation," he said. "I can't think of anything that we didn't do...I don't get it."

Members of the bid committee pointed out Hamilton was the only Ontario bid city that had made an agreement with the provincial government to smooth the way to hold the games in the province. It was this agreement that provided bid committee members some confidence in being selected to be the host city.

"I don't know what we could have possibility done differently," said Di Ianni. "I honestly don't know, other than engaging the other levels of government more directly. Our bid was strong, our plan was good."

Hamilton's Commonwealth Games bid proposed an $800-million event, which would result in a windfall of more than $1 billion. The city would have received a new stadium on the waterfront, a sports complex to replace Ivor Wynn Stadium, 11,000 jobs, over $400 million in wages and about $200 million in municipal taxes.

The event would have cost Hamilton taxpayers about $101 million to finance, with the federal and provincial governments chipping in to cover the bulk of the other expenses. The domestic bid cost Hamilton about $400,000.

"It's an opportunity, unfortunately, for our city that would have been transformative," said Di Ianni. "It would not only contribute to the Games, but it would have contributed to the legacy of the Games in Ontario. We will survive, obviously. We will continue to improve our community, but it would have been so much sweeter if we had these Games to help us in that transformation."

One politician who was glad the city lost the bid was Ward 15's Margaret McCarthy, the only councillor who voted against the city entering the bid process. She said the city doesn't have the resources to spend $100 million to chase these types of events.

Hamilton officials refused to speculate whether they would embark upon another bid for the Games, or for any other large-scale event for the city.

"It's too early," said Adames, who was also part of the bid team that lost out to New Delhi to host the 2010 Games. "I wouldn't want emotion to weigh in on my comment." Di Ianni said it would take a unique situation for Hamilton to plan another bid, after suffering two heart-wrenching losses in a row.