Windsor, Ont., wins FINA short-course swim championships
Event is expected to inject more than $16 million into the region
Windsor will host the 2016 FINA short-course international swimming championships.
The announcement was made Tuesday at a news conference at Istanbul's Sinan Erdem Arena on the eve of this year's event.
"I have the pleasure to announce that today the FINA Bureau awarded the organization of the event of 2016 to the city of Windsor in Canada," FINA president Julio Maglione said.
"We congratulate the city of Windsor, the Aquatic Federation of Canada, and Swimming Canada," he added. "I am sure that we will have a great FINA world short course championship in 2016."
Windsor beat out Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.
"Windsorites know we stayed on the sidelines far too long. We wished and hoped people would recognize our city. We are now significant players on the global stage. Our time has come," Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis said. "One thing it does and has accomplished ... with FINA coming to Windsor from 2016. FINA just put Windsor on the global map when it comes to sports."
Detroit and Essex will also help Windsor in hosting the event.
Swimming Canada CEO Pierre Lafontaine was also on hand for the morning presentation and announcement.
"What a great day today for us in Canada," Lafontaine said. "I think hosting the world short course in Windsor will be a brilliant opportunity for us to not just showcase Canada and showcase Windsor, but also to inspire the next generation."
Canada has 13 swimmers competing at this year's event.
A confident Francis led a delegation to Istanbul to make a presentation to FINA representatives.
The city spent approximately $200,000 on its successful bid.
The cost of hosting the championships at the WFCU Centre could be anywhere between $2 million and $3 million, depending on government and corporate sponsorship.
The event will be held at the WFCU because Windsor's new downtown aquatic centre will lack the appropriate pool and seating capacity required for the event.
Francis said he's pleased the region has won the bid but he's much happier that the city has promoted itself to the rest of the world.
"We’re now ‘it’ and that’s significant," Francis said.
The city said the event is expected to inject more than $16 million into the region.
"It’s going to drive economic dollars into the region," Francis said.
It is also expected to attract approximately 2,500 visitors, including more than 700 athletes, from around the world.
With files from Canadian Press