North Battleford will be the host city of the 2018 Saskatchewan Winter Games.
Julie Brandt, chairperson of the Saskatchewan Games Council, announced the city’s victory in its bid for the games Thursday at North Battleford’s NationsWEST Field House.
“The Saskatchewan Games Council views North Battleford as an ideal community to host the games,” Brant said.
Destination Battlefords executive director Ryan Bater was very excited about North Battleford’s victory over Lloydminster, praising the community’s support and spirit as cornerstones in the city’s win.
“It’s a real opportunity to showcase to the rest of the province what we have available here, not just in terms of facilities, but our people and our community pride,” Bater said.
“To have something good and positive happening here feels really good right now.”
The games will be demanding on the community, however, costing an estimated $900,000 and requiring roughly 1,500 volunteers.
Community spending on the games can be seen as an investment, Lorne Lasuita, provincial games consultant with the Saskatchewan Games Council, said.
“It’s related back to the legacy of equipment and enhanced facilities that they can use once the games are over,” Lasuita said. “The economic activity that (the city) would generate from the budget they have whether it’s a direct expenditure or an indirect expenditure will certainly go a long way.”
The provincial government will pay about half of the cost of the games, leaving the city and sponsors responsible for the remaining cost. Even though the city does not expect the games to run a deficit, council has laid the groundwork for North Battleford to absorb possible losses.