Abbotsford will host the 2016 BC Summer Games.
The announcement was made today (Friday, Jan. 25) by Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong.
“I want to thank the BC Games Society for selecting the City of Abbotsford as host community for the 2016 BC Summer Games,” said de Jong. “Talk about an excellent choice! Abbotsford is full of committed, passionate volunteers who I know will embrace the opportunity to host the Games. The end result will be a spectacular event that benefits B.C.’s young up-and-coming athletes, as well as the host community and the entire Lower Mainland.”
Abbotsford has a successful history hosting multi-sport Games including the 2004 BC Summer Games which left a community legacy of over $174,000, which resulted in the purchase of a saddle tent, still being used at various events around the city.
“Abbotsford is thrilled to be hosting the BC Summer Games in 2016,” said Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman. “Our city is no stranger to welcoming visitors – we have hosted athletes for the BC Seniors Games and the Special Olympics, airshow enthusiasts for our annual international airshow and welcomed the world to the A-list events at our Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. As one of the friendliest cities this side of the Fraser River, we look forward to welcoming athletes from across the province.”
The city has budgeted $60,000 ($30,000 in both 2015 and 2016) and $50,000 in additional in-kind services and facilities to host the games.
The 2008 games in Kelowna generated an estimated $2.6 million in economic benefit and Mark Taylor, the city’s general manager of Parks Recreation and Culture, said the economic spinoff could be even higher for Abbotsford.
“We’re hoping that because Abbotsford is so successful at hosting games, and we’re in the greater Vancouver area, we will exceed $3 million in economic impact.”
The BC Games Society provides event management services and $600,000 in funds from the province.
But there is more to it than funding.
“There are three key messages it helps us promote physical activity in the community, it really grows community spirit and it builds our volunteer base,” said Taylor.
He said they will need about 4,000 volunteers to run the games.
The BC Summer Games features more than 3,900 athletes, coaches, and officials which will participate in approximately 20 sports, from July 21-24, 2016.