Another major sporting event could be in the cards for Grande Prairie. The city plans to write a letter expressing its interest in possibly bidding for the 2022 Alberta Summer or Winter Games.
Grande Prairie Regional Sport Connection Executive Director Karna Germsheid says there’s still a lot of questions that need to be answered before an official bid is submitted.
“There’s a large social impact with this size of event but there’s also a large economic impact. With that large economic impact, in the next four years can we create that same economic impact by partnering with other events…that are maybe just a little less demanding on the region.”
In 2000, the Alberta Winter and Summer Games went from alternating ever four years to being held every two years in the same calendar year. Grande Prairie previously hosted the Alberta Summer Games in 2018.
The city and neighbouring municipalities were first approached by the Culture and Tourism Minister asking if anyone in the area would be interested in putting their name forward.
Interested communities must have facilities suitable for hosting around 20 sport competitions, and be capable of feeding and accommodating around 2,800 athletes, coaches and officials over a four to six day period. Germsheid says that’s something Grande Prairie can do.
“The region always steps up and always does a great job. We have the facilities, we have the infrastructure [and] we do have things in place.”
Coming off a recent bid for the 2022 Arctic Winter Games, which the city lost to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Germsheid says there was no harm in looking into the bid process again.
“They did a really good job rallying the troops so to speak and putting together a strong bid but it’s always worth looking at potential other events that come by.”
In the next few weeks, while deciding whether to move forward with the bid, Germsheid says the city and its neighbours will have to look at what the community wants and what sponsors would be available. An official bid would be due by June 3rd.