Edmonton taxpayers who may be disappointed about losing out on the World University Games can now expect to shell out more cash as the city now focuses its attention to bring in the World Expo, said the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
Scott Hennig, the Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said hosting the 2015 Universiade would have been less expensive to organize and it would have created a much bigger impact in Edmonton’s economy.
But after the disappointing decision was handed down by the International University Sports Federation Saturday, Hennig says the city will now focus its attention on bringing in the World Expo in 2017 — an event he says is expensive and will create less of an economic impact for Edmonton.
“(The University Games) was a lot easier to justify than the Expo,” said Hennig. “The amount of people that you would pull in for the games was pretty high, and it is one of the highest attended sporting events. This is disappointing.
“With the World’s Fair, the numbers don’t justify it in terms of the cost.”
Hosting the Expo would come at a price tag around $1.6 to $3 billion and the funds would have to be split between the city and the province, says a city report. The Expo would attract roughly 4.7 million visitors during the 90-day event, said the report.
The university games could have brought in more than $400 million to Edmonton’s economy and create more than 5,500 jobs, according to figures from the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.
Mayor Stephen Mandel will be holding a news conference today to discuss the Universiade bid.