While the tussle for the venue of the 2018 Commonwealth Games bid is intensifying, Australia’s Gold Coast appears to be having an edge over the Hambantota venue for the Games, according to the latest evaluation report released by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) yesterday.
The CGF has released its review on the bids of both cities ahead of the November vote to decide who will host the Games. The evaluation commission report said the Gold Coast venue had demonstrated a thorough understanding of the games’ requirements for medical and health, Commonwealth Games village, sport and venues, finance, customs and immigration formalities, security, media operations etc.,
But commenting on the Hambantota venue on the above factors, the commission said the venue has demonstrated ‘appropriate’ or ‘reasonable’ capacities in terms of the games’ requirements, “The evaluation commission is of the view that, at this time and based on currently available information, a games staged in the Gold Coast presents a low risk, subject to village development arrangements being secured, while a games in Hambantota presents a medium to high risk,” it said.
Commenting on the security aspect, the report said, “The security risk in Hambantota is considered to be low overall. The threat of domestic terrorism is also low, having declined considerably since the military defeat of the LTTE in 2009. However the risk of international terrorism is recognised and Sri Lanka will take necessary national and international measures to identify and disrupt any potential risks to the games.”
Hambantota will need to build US$1.1 billion worth of facilities to host the Games, and substantial upgrades to its hospitals, the transport system and telecommunications infrastructure will be needed, the report said.
Finally in on overall comment, it said, “The Gold Coast presents an attractive destination in which to stage the Commonwealth Games complemented by the local and the Gold Coast airport, which also accommodates some international flights.”
“Hambantota presents an exciting opportunity for the Commonwealth Games to assist in the development of the city and country in a substantial manner creating an impact. The proposition could provide a blueprint for other Commonwealth nations,” it added.
The report also says that the commission “believes the overarching consideration that differentiates the two projects is the matter of risk.”
The 2018 Games host will be announced on November 11 after a vote from the 71 Commonwealth delegates. (Sunil Jayasiri)