Peter Knowles, the Event Director for this year’s FINA Short Course World Championships, has physically moved to the host city of Windsor, Ontario, Canada to oversee final preparations for the event. The meet, estimated to have a budget in the ballpark of $11.2 million, is slated for December 7-11th, with over 1500 athletes slated to attend.
According to Knowles, the biggest challenge to be faced over the next several months includes limited hotel accommodations for the Championships. Although athletes and team members are able to stay in Windsor, visitors and spectators, as well as those involved in the associated FINA conferences and awards ceremony, will most likely need to stay in Detroit, Michigan, just about 20 minutes away.
Knowles identifies security, hotel bookings, transportation, visas, and the transformation of the Windsor Family Credit Union Center (WFCU) venue as the items remaining on the list to be coordinated over the next 11 months.
In the meantime, Knowles says that “Windsor is in a good place; we’re right where we ought to be.” Reassuring words for Windsor constituents, as the event is expected to “be the best-attended conference FINA has ever had because it’s in North America.”
However, as we reported back in November, not everyone is thrilled with the fact that the 2016 FINA Short Course World Championships are set to be held in Windsor. In a scathing opinion piece written in the Windsor Square Opinion Pages, writer Robert Tuomi cited the ‘lackluster’ FINA World Cup Series as reason to push back against the estimated $21 million Windsor taxpayers are reportedly paying to host the 2016 event.
Within his piece, Tuomi referred to swimvortex.com’s article, which cast doubts on the actual talent set to appear in Windsor. Quoting swimvortex.com, Tuomi wrote, “… big prize has been won by the same people season after season of late; that the format is unappealing; that the vast majority of elite swimmers in the world – those earned top 50 across all events – are bypassing the World Cup as a series year after year.” The Tuomi opinion summarized that “Windsor made a very costly financial mistake which will gobble up taxpayer’s hard-earned cash and deliver very little. It is, if Lord [Craig Lord at swimvortex.com] is right, on track to suffer another high cost but low reward event.”