Moncton to push for more sports events
Officials say hosting Olympic gala April 16 could be catalyst
Officials in Moncton are hoping that hosting an Olympic event next month will lead to many other sporting events in the future.
Five Canadian champions, including bobsledder David MacEachern and figure skater Elvis Stojko, will be inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame at a ceremony April 16 at Casino New Brunswick.
Louis Léger, chair of the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Gala and Induction Committee, believes the event is a golden opportunity for the city and the region.
Representatives from the 60 Canadian sports federations that participate in the Olympics will be in Moncton April 14 to 17.
During those four days, the federations will hold business meetings, and tour Moncton sports venues and the surrounding area. Léger said it's a chance to woo the officials and convine them to hold future national championships in the city.
"These people are decision-makers. They will be making decisions for the next 10 plus years because of the lead time that's required for national events."
Members of the sports federations will tour the new Moncton stadium and local soccer fields and arenas, as well as the marina in Shediac and the shooting ranges in Albert county.
Léger believes the whole region will benefit.
Moncton is the smallest city to ever host the Hall of Fame Gala in 63 years, said Léger. He believes the success of last summer's world junior track and field championships has been a great calling card for the city.
"We have demonstrated that we are comfortable and we are very good at organizing large events and large events have been very successful in Moncton," he said.
"We have a great volunteer network, we have a city that is very aggressive in terms of promotion. So all of those things together make Moncton this magnet and success breeds success."
Fifty-two Olympians are expected to attend the gala, including 38 medallists.