Games concept lauded
The vision was big, but the details were light at the official launch of the wildcard proposal for a regional Victorian bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games at Victoria Park Lake last week.
Instead of any detailed costings or a compelling case study, people were asked to believe in the concept, and leave the detail for later.
With any potential bid, or decision on a host city or region still years away, Greater Shepparton Mayor Dinny Adem said it was the concept of a regional bid that needed to be sold before the number crunching started.
‘‘What we are unveiling is a first-of-a-kind vision that could very well form the blueprint for future major sporting events,’’ Cr Adem said.
‘‘With Durban being stripped of the rights to host the 2022 Games over financial concerns, alternative models needed to be explored and we believe we have the answer.’’
The pitch is to use the most of existing regional infrastructure that is currently spread out across Victoria, instead of the usual Commonwealth and Olympics practice of building massive stadiums in a singe city, that become white elephants at the end of the event.
Different areas in regional Victoria could play to their individual strengths and we could see Lawn Bowls held at Shepparton Park Bowls Club and Rowing at Lake Nagambie.
But organisers were keen to point out that any proposed sporting venues are just suggestions and anything could happen before an actual bid is placed.
Even the location of the opening and closing ceremonies, one of the most important aspect of any games, was still uncertain according to Adem Karafili, chair of the 13-member bid taskforce.
He said that Kardinia Park in Geelong, which hosts the Geelong Football Club, would be the simple choice, but not the only option.
‘‘I think we would love to have one here as well and I think part of our planning would be to establish an arena in Shepparton that supports this greater area that could host an opening ceremony,’’ Mr Karafili said.
‘‘Our ambition would be here (in Shepparton), but we also have a fallback position.’’
Dream big: Chair of the 13-member bid taskforce Adem Karafili addresses the audience.
We can do it: The bid taskforce.