A bid to bring in World Expo to Alberta’s capital city for 2017 suddenly became much stronger after lessons were learned from a failed bid to bring the World University Games to Edmonton, Mayor Stephen Mandel said yesterday.
After the International University Sports Federation awarded Gwangju, South Korea, the rights to host the 2015 Summer Universiade over the weekend, Mandel says the city will now take a closer look into its Expo bid, and that includes looking at how successful it could be when it’s presented to another international committee.
“Part of the (Expo) bid must include an evaluation of the bid opportunities to win and what it is going to take,” said Mandel, who called the Universiade bid a great lesson during a news conference at city hall.
“If we can’t do what it’s going to take, then we need to stop right away.”
The federal government must also be pitched for support by the Expo bid committee along with getting support from the province — something Mandel believes the committee will get later this year.
But striking out on Universiade doesn’t mean the city will halt plans to improve many of its sports venues like Clarke Park, said Mandel.
“We didn’t win, so we now have to move forward from this point,” said Mandel.
“What isn’t going to happen, isn’t going to happen, but we’ll make sure that a lot of things that we hoped would happen will try to happen … like the GO Centre or expansion to Clarke Stadium and other things.”
Eric Newell, the chair of the Universiade bid committee, says the estimated $2 million to get the Universiade was well-spent.
“You have to make investments to go ahead and if we’d have gotten the games it would have been fantastic for our city and our country,” said Newell. “I don’t regret that investment at all.”