Edmonton lands World Masters Athletics meet for 2021; might be held at massive new indoor facility

Ottawa’s Wendy Alexis, left, won silver medals in both the women’s 60-64 age group 60- and 200-metre finals at the world masters indoor athletics championships in Daegu, Korea, while Toronto’s Karla Del Grande, lane 4, captured two gold medals on April 3, 2017. The 2021 championships will be held in Edmonton. Doug Smith / CP

 

More than 2,500 athletes from all over the globe will descend on Edmonton in April 2021 for the World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships.

Former Olympians will be among the competitors, who must be at least 35 years old. Some participants will be as old as 90.

“It’s a great event from that perspective,” said James Rosnau, executive director of Athletics Alberta. “And it’s a very attractive event from the city’s perspective because it’s not a group of athletes coming on a government-funded program, who stick around their hotel and eat Ramen noodles. They’re out spending money, they’ve got disposable income.”

For now, the Universiade Pavilion is listed as the premier venue for sprints, middle and long distance races, high jump, long jump, pole vault and other events.

But Athletics Alberta will soon announce plans to begin building a massive new indoor facility in the city’s southwest end, near Anthony Henday Drive.

In the works since 2016, it’s a 70,000-square foot, multi-use building that will house a 200-metre track with a full, 100-metre straightaway, a throwing cage, weightlifting area, office space and medical treatment centre.

“We’re working on a strategy on a new venue. If that comes through, and obviously timelines will be tight, then that would be the host venue and the Butterdome becomes the secondary venue,” said Rosnau.

In 2016, the price tag for the new facility was pegged at $10 million, not including land costs.

The worlds meet, which will actually include outdoor events like javelin, race walking and half marathon at Hawrelak Park and Foote Field, would essentially become a test event for the new indoor facility.

“This is a great warmup because of the very friendly budget numbers associated with it,” said Rosnau. “A world championship is probably going to cost $20 million to put on. An event like this in a new venue certainly does give it a good litmus test and then we look at it and tweak it and say OK, I think we’re prepared to go after some of these other major championships.”

Rosnau said the total budget for the 2021 event will be $1.2 million, and they are asking for $250,000 from the city, which is partnering with Athletics Alberta through its Edmonton Events arm.

It will be the fourth time since 1975 Canada has hosted the event.

Source: Edmonton lands World Masters Athletics meet for 2021; might be held at massive new indoor facility | Edmonton Journal

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