Langford mayor says 2022 Commonwealth Games venues could go in his community

Langford mayor says 2022 Commonwealth Games venues could go in his community

WATCH: The mayor of Langford says some of the events for the 2022 Commonwealth Games could be hosted in the city. Mary Griffin reports.

One community is stepping up and offering to host some of the events for the 2022 Commonwealth Games proposed for Victoria.

Langford’s mayor says he sees how Langford residents would benefit after the Games are over.

Standing on the Leigh Road interchange in Langford Thursday, Mayor Stew Young pointed out locations for facilities to be built for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

On one side, there’s 50 acres, room for an athletes? village and an arena.

Ohe the other, there is enough room for a 50,000-seat stadium, all on land owned by Vancouver-based Seacliff Properties.

Young says there is an opportunity to build out and create a new centre for Langford.

“Our economic development committee said, why don’t you try and build the athletes? village out here. Make it affordable housing. And bring out Camosun, or somebody, and put a campus there,” Young said.

“Which to me now makes sense.”

Young said Seacliff Properties would build the village. After the Games, Camosun College students, now studying at a new Langford campus, would live there.

Taxpayers would pick up the cost of a new stadium and arena for the Games.

“I could support that, the Games. As long as we see something at the end of it that we would have to pay for anyway,” Young said.

The local bid committee estimates the cost of the Games at $955 million.

And keeping costs low is a priority according to Commonwealth Games Canada CEO, Brian MacPherson.

“Over the past six weeks, we’ve been working hard to develop that business plan. And we submitted it to both the B.C. government, and the federal government this past Monday,” MacPherson said.

There is no word from the federal government?s Sport Canada on funding and the new B.C. NDP government’s support is lukewarm at best.

But there are others who say the Games are beneficial, including the CEO for the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence, Robert Bettauer.

“I think we have a pretty good idea because we hosted the games in 1994. In many ways it transformed Victoria,” Bettauer said. “When it comes to the sports area, we’re a leading centre for hosting Olympic and Para-Olympic summer sports, and their national training centres here.”

Langford’s mayor says with four national training teams based in his community, including golf, mountain biking, rugby and tennis, the timing is right for the bid.

“Langford, you know, we’d look at it as an opportunity. We like recreation out here,” Young said.

The deadline for the Commonwealth Games bid is Sept. 30.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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