Games a reason to build ‘tens of millions’ in new infrastructure, says mayor
The City of Whitehorse is looking ahead to 2027, with plans to bid on hosting the Canada Winter Games.
City councillors approved the idea with a unanimous vote June 14.
Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis said big sporting events bring economic benefits, including government investment in infrastructure.
“I think the city, if we’re fortunate enough to win, we’ll be looking at tens of millions of dollars of new infrastructure for all of us to enjoy for many years to come,” he said.
Canada Games Centre built for last games
Whitehorse previously hosted the Canada Winter Games for 15 days in February and March of 2007. Those games were the reason the Canada Games Centre was built.
At the time, the Yukon government also built two buildings for an athletes’ village. One building was later repurposed into seniors’ housing by the Yukon government and another is now used by Yukon University for student housing and the Yukon Research Centre.
Curtis said he’d like to see something built for 2027 as well.
“If things go well I think we’re in for a tremendous shot in the arm when it comes to the City of Whitehorse,” he said.
Curtis specifically mentioned the Takhini Arena which is more than 40 years old needing a “serious makeover,” and how Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre “needs help” too.
“That’s the beauty of the games. If the city has the courage to take this on and the ability, it will make a huge impact,” he said.
Yukon government joins bid
Jeff O’Farrell, acting city manager, said the vote means the city is “formally declaring its intention to bid,” with the Yukon government as co-host.
A bid committee will oversee development of the bid presented to the Canada Games Council.
The games will launch their bidding process in September, and the selection will take years. The event in 2027 would be the Canada Winter Games’ 60th anniversary.
Related stories from around the North:
United States: No Alaska dog mushers at next Arctic Winter Games without ‘true competition’, CBC News