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Regina and Saskatoon are typically excluded from bidding to give smaller cities an opportunity to host the provincial games.
However, an exception was made on this occasion.
“For the 50th, we just felt it was a good fit to have it in a larger centre,” Bracken said. “Regina has top-notch sports venues and a lot of the provincial sport organizations are stationed here. Local media is centred out of the major cities so we’re hoping to get a little more coverage in Regina. There are all kinds of benefits.”
That includes the ability to adapt in a COVID-19 environment. Government and health authorities may have a whole new set of regulations in place by the time the 2022 Games arrive, perhaps requiring changes to things like food service as well as the athletes village.
Negotiations are underway for the University of Regina to potentially serve as a hub for the 2022 event, which is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 20-26.
“When we’re in Regina, it gives us that much more capacity,” Bracken said. “In a really small city, that would be a challenge.”
Even if COVID-19 is no longer a major issue in 2022, it’s likely that the pandemic will continue to have an impact in the foreseeable future.
Regardless of what rules might be in place, the SGC is prepared to make necessary adjustments.
“The whole athletes village concept is a huge group of 800 to 1,000 people living under one roof for a week,” he noted. “That’s a pretty big gathering in a small space. If we get forced to change the way we do that, we’ll work to do that. But even if we don’t, we’ve realized that we probably need to look at this and see if we can make some changes anyway. We’re trying to be as safe as we can for our participants.”