Calgarians won’t be seeing the Stampede Grounds turned into an X Games venue any time soon.
While the city secured the rights to host the high-flying games for the next three years back in March, a lack of funding in the newly unveiled provincial budget has put some serious obstacles in the way of organizers.
The previous NDP-led Province of Alberta had pledged $13.5 million towards the games, but that funding was just one of the cuts made in the 2019 Alberta budget.
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Overall, the budget brings the province’s Trade and Tourism allotment down from $349 million in 2018-2019 to $286 million in 2019-2020. That budget will be further reduced for 2020-2021 to $277 million, though it will be bumped back up to $291 and $300 million in the following two years.
While this means that the hope of seeing the X Games in Calgary for 2020 is all but shot, Tourism Calgary has stated that they’re still pursuing the prospect of hosting the games come 2021.
“Hosting X Games in Calgary beginning in 2021 offers all partners the time necessary to prepare to host and share our city and venues with a global audience,” said Carson Ackroyd, Senior Vice President of Sales with Tourism Calgary, in the release.
“It also allows us to continue to work with key stakeholders, including the Government of Alberta, to ensure the economic benefits of this significant event are realized.”
According to Tourism Calgary, the X Games are expected to bring in $75 million annually to Calgary’s economy.