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City bidding for skating championships

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

Taking to the old adage, the city is once again bidding for one of the country’s largest national skating competitions

Agreed upon by councillors in a joint meeting of the community services and finance committees, a bid will be sent to Skate Canada to see if Oshawa can secure the hosting spot for the 2018 Synchronized Skating Championships.

Late last year, the city attempted to attract the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships to the city – an event that was eventually awarded to Ottawa. Now, councillors are hoping this time around they may be a little more successful.

“The successful host city must demonstrate the ability to stage major sporting events in a highly successful and cost-effective manner with a focus on excellence in the areas of facility and event management/operations, profitable ticket sales potential, as well as community financial, sponsorship and human resource support,” Skate Canada’s request for proposals reads.

The event, slated for Feb 23 to 25, 2018, could bring 40 teams, or approximately 800 skaters, to the city to determine which teams will move on to the world championships. According to the RFP, hosting the event could bring in approximately $1.2 million to the local economy.

On top of the city’s recent experience hosting the Pan Am Games, and the opening of the Holiday Inn Express in the downtown, both of which could be considered benefits in the city’s bid, councillors were hoping to sweeten the pot.

Councillors agreed to add the possibility of exploring grants for the event if awarded the hosting rights, something which would benefit both the city, and Skate Canada if it decided to choose Oshawa.

“Part of achieving bids is salesmanship,” said Councillor Nancy Diamond, who suggested the idea.

“If we are successful in achieving extra money, we win and Skate Canada wins.”

The deadline for submissions to Skate Canada’s RFP is June 30, with a decisions set to be made in September.

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