Edmonton To Host 2014 International Triathlon Union Grand Final

Edmonton, Canada – Edmonton will be hosting the 2014 International Triathlon Union (ITU) Grand Final at Hawrelak Park in Canada. The city of Edmonton had begun bidding on hosting the sports event when San Diego backed out last fall.

The ITU Grand Finals caps off an ongoing global series between the world’s best triathletes. The 2013 World Triathlon Series begins on April 6 in Auckland, New Zealand and will have six more events that span four continents before wrapping up with the Grand Final from September 11 to 16 in London, England. But next year, Edmonton, Canada will be playing host to the Grand Final.

In early September, the Grand Final triathlon is expected to attract more than 5,000 athletes, coaches and support staff, families and supporters, and over 21 million television viewers in 160 countries. Edmonton is estimating that hosting the event will cost the city $2 million (Canadian dollars are worth about the same as US dollars), and the remaining $3 million tab will be picked up by sponsors, the Alberta province, and the Canadian federal government. But this high cost is worth it since the event’s estimated economic impact is $16 million.

According to CBC News, Edmonton city Council member Jane Batty is excited to see her city represent the world for this triathlon:

“We’re quite quickly becoming known as Canada’s triathlon city and quickly building a reputation as one of the world’s top triathlon cities.”

Sheila O’Kelly, the executive director of the Edmonton Triathlon Academy, explains to the Edmonton Journal when the idea of having Edmonton as a host for the event was born:

“Some of my colleagues at ITU said, ‘Do you think there’s a possibility that Edmonton would do the final in 2014?’ I emailed (city councilor Jane Batty and 10 days later when I came back, I met with (city councilors and it went form there. It was a lot of work, the city staff did a lot of work, just getting it through council as fast as we did. Then we got the study done on the lake (at Hawrelak Park) over Christmas and getting that through on Jan. 23.”

What do you think about Edmonton hosting the International Triathlon Union Grand Final, eh?