Ontario Supporting Sporting Events Across the Province
Province Investing $3 Million to Support Amateur Sport, Boost Economic Growth
Ontario is investing up to $3 million to support sporting events across the province this year through the Sport Hosting Program, giving more Ontario athletes high-level competition experience and boosting economic growth.
Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport, was in Thunder Bay this morning to make the announcement, where she was joined by Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines and MPP for Thunder Bay--North Superior, and Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs and MPP for Thunder Bay--Atikokan.
As part of this investment, Ontario is contributing $500,000 to host the 2017 Under-18 Baseball World Cup in Thunder Bay. An additional $983,500 is being invested through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to upgrade local facilities in time for the international competition, for a total investment of over $1.4 million. The biennial event, taking place from September 1 to 10, 2017, will welcome athletes from around the world, including many players that have been drafted by Major League Baseball (MLB) teams.
Hosting national and international amateur sporting events offers communities the opportunity to welcome visitors, gives more Ontario athletes high-level competition experience and increases local interest in sport and volunteerism. Ontario's Sport Hosting Program is part of Game ON - The Ontario Government's Sport Plan to help more Ontarians participate and excel in sport. Game ON recognizes the many ways organized sport can be good for people and communities, including the health and economic benefits of hosting major sporting events.
Investing in sport is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- Since 2013, Ontario has supported 62 events, with total funding of more than $11 million through the Sport Hosting Program.
- Since 2013, the province has invested over $423 million through the NOHFC across Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.3 billion in direct economic activity and helping to create or retain more than 9,800 jobs.
- In the Thunder Bay area, the province has invested over $69 million through the NOHFC since 2013, supporting 538 projects that are helping to create or retain 1,993 local jobs.
- The $983,500 NOHFC investment will assist the City of Thunder Bay in upgrading baseball fields at Port Arthur Stadium and Baseball Central to conform to MLB standards.
“Our government recognizes the importance of fostering a sport culture that gives athletes a chance to develop their skills to their full potential. Through events like Thunder Bay’s 2017 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, we are opening our doors to the world and supporting the city of Thunder Bay, leaving a sporting legacy, sparking economic activity and promoting tourism and visitor spending.”
“Our government is building up the North by investing in Thunder Bay. This NOHFC investment will enable Thunder Bay to upgrade our baseball fields so that we can host the Baseball World Cup. Hosting the event will help to create 23 jobs and will have an estimated economic impact of $4.5 million on our economy. As local MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North, I’m delighted for our community and look forward to attending the games.”
“I grew up playing on these fields and baseball has been a big part of my life and that of my father. I congratulate the local committee on once again bringing the Baseball World Cup to Thunder Bay. I am thrilled that our government is once again lending its support and strength to a very worthwhile project in Thunder Bay.”
“We are thrilled with the contribution from NOHFC. It builds on the work that the City of Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay International Baseball Association have completed over the years. Here in Thunder Bay we are Sports Central. I would like to thank the Province for this investment to enhance the existing field infrastructure at both Baseball Central and Port Arthur Stadium. These improvements will not only raise the level of baseball participation in the city, they will also form a solid foundation for the community to continue to bid on and host future regional, national, and international events.”
“We are extremely pleased with the support through the province’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and Sport Hosting Program funding for the U-18 World Baseball Cup. Improvements to the baseball fields were identified as crucial and the event funding is critical to the overall operation of the tournament. Our committee can continue to work diligently and confidently on this major event for Thunder Bay.”