From left: Wendy Plandowski a member of the bid committee, Lloydminster MLA Colleen Young, Leo Pare, director of communications with the City of Lloydminster and Mark Bracken Saskatchewan Games Council executive director show off the 2020 Summer Same logo unveiled Friday outside council chambers. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
“I am pleased to announce that the City of Lloydminster will host the 2020 Saskatchewan Summer Games.”
With those words, Mark Bracken, Saskatchewan Games Council executive director, put the organizing wheels in motion at a City Hall ceremony on Friday.
The naming of Lloydminster as the host city followed a trip by the bid evaluation and site selection committee to Lloydminster on Oct. 30 to evaluate the city’s readiness.
Lloydminster was the only city in the province to bid for the games, but the city’s capabilities impressed the officials.
“Our bid evaluation committee was impressed with the outstanding sports venues, the willingness and ability of Lakeland College to effectively accommodate the care and comfort of athletes, the numerous hotels available for spectators and family alike, and the spirit and leadership shown by your bid committee,” said Bracken.
The Games are tentatively scheduled for July and August 2020 when the city will welcome nearly 2,000 of Saskatchewan’s young developing athletes, their coaches and officials, and over 5,000 spectators.
Bracken said Lloydminster checked off all the boxes as an ideal host city.
“The sports venues in the community are second to none, the spirit shown by the community through volunteerism, the track record of Lloydminster hosting other major sporting events and other events—it was just a great fit,” he said.
Lorne Lasuita, provincial Games consultant with Saskatchewan Games Council outlined the next step in the Games’ organizing process.
“We will meet with city representatives to talk about who is going to be on the board,” he said.
“They obviously need to appoint a chairperson to be able to lead the divisions that are going to be responsible for putting on the games.
“That chairperson will pick a team of volunteers to take on those roles that are assigned for every division.”
Lloydminster last hosted the summer games in 2008 on an operating budget of $1.3 million.
Bracken said there are a lot of variables to be considered before the city rolls out an accurate 2020 Games budget.
“It kind of depends on the kind of capital investment that the community wants to make,” said Bracken.
“A lot of times if the infrastructure and sports venues are quite up to par, there doesn’t need to be as much investment in upgrading.”
He said you can operate the games for around $1.5 million, but the capital development comes on top of that.
The city of Lloydminster will get $420,000 in operating grants, and a matching capital grant of $250,000 from the Saskatchewan Games Legacy Program to upgrade facilities or buy equipment.
All of the Games’ funds are from Saskatchewan Lotteries.
Some of the Saskatchewan Games sports include golf, baseball, soccer, triathlon and swimming.
Cindy Rekimowich, the city’s manager of programs and events, doesn’t foresee any major capital upgrades at this time.
“We have reviewed all our facilities and they do meet the minimum requirements that the Summer Games council are asking,” she said.
“We will be meeting with provincial sport organizations and our local organizations to make small enhancements to our facilities, but in general, our facilities are in pretty good shape and we have a good inventory.”
The announcement also included remarks from Lloydminster MLA Colleen Young, Leo Pare, director of communication representing the city and the unveiling of the Games’ logo with a Catch the Spirit slogan.