World Cup and Winter Olympics? 2026 would be a historic sports year for Canada

World Cup matches and an Olympic Games would put Canada front and centre in the sports world in 2026.

Canada’s successful bid to co-host the 2026 World Cup with the United States and Mexico coincides with Calgary travelling further down the road of bidding for the Winter Games of that same year.

The city has yet to greenlight a Winter Games bid, but a bid corporation — Calgary 2026 — is up and running as of this week.

Calgary’s provincial sports rival Edmonton is a candidate city, along with Montreal and Toronto, to host Canada’s 10 World Cup matches in 2026.

The man chairing Calgary 2026 sees the awarding of World Cup matches to Canada as a good harbinger for an Olympic bid, should the city go for it.

“What I think is positive about that bid is the international community wants to stage events in Canada,” Scott Hutcheson said Wednesday.

“It’s positive that Canadians would want to have those kinds of events, international events in Canada.”

Scott Hutcheson is the chair of the Calgary Olympic bid corporation. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

Calgary has until January, when bid books are due, to decide. International Olympic Committee members will vote on a 2026 host city in September 2019.

Tourism Calgary chief executive officer Cindy Ady believes the prospect of World Cup soccer matches in Canada can enhance the country’s, and potentially Alberta’s, sports profile when it comes to a possible Winter Games bid.

“Being considered a place where major sporting events could take place, I think it adds to our cache,” Ady said. “I don’t, at this point, see any negative impacts.”

Potential cost

Winter Games in February and March wouldn’t compete with summer World Cup matches for sports’ fans attentions, but there might be hand-wringing over the potential cost of both in a single calendar year.

Canada has hosted, and paid for, major sports events in the same summer.

The 24-team women’s World Cup, staged in six stadiums across the country, and Toronto’s Pan American/Parapan Am Games that drew over 6,000 athletes from 41 countries, were held within weeks of each other in 2015.

The Pan Am price tag was $2.4 billion, with the federal government kicking in half a billion dollars.

Canada Soccer said the combined cost of the women’s World Cup and the 2014 under-20 women’s World Cup was $216 million, with $15 million coming from the feds.

Canada will host a fraction of the 80 men’s World Cup matches in 2026, so costs will proportionally reflect that. The federal government has pledged up to $5 million.

An initial estimate for Calgary to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games was $4.6 billion, although financials, and what the taxpayers’ share would be, continue to be crunched.



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Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.[7] It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary,[8] generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road).[9] Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.[9]

Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016,[6] Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.

History

Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.
Geography

The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton.[8] The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.

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