Last week a FINA delegation, including Executive Director Cornel Marculescu, was on-site touring the venues slated to host the 2016 FINA World Short Course Championships later this year. Windsor, Ontario, Canada will be hosting the 13th edition of the event, scheduled for December 6th-11th.
The Windsor Family Credit Union (WFCU) Arena, which is home to Windor’s Spitfire hockey team, will serve as the primary 25m competition pool for the championship meet, while a brand new warm-up pool is being constructed alongside the existing building. Additionally, the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Center (WIATC) will be available for participating athletes as early as November.
Prior to the start of the competition, the FINA World Aquatics Convention will be held from December 3rd-5th in which approximately 1,000 delegates from over 400 organizations are expected to be in attendance.
Although FINA reports that various “fruitful meetings” were held among its staff and the Windsor 2016 Organizing Committee during last week’s visit, where topics such as accommodation and accreditation were discussed, locally in Windsor the seemingly ballooning of costs associated with hosting the global event is a recurring concern.
According to local news outlet The Windsor Star, the latest quarterly report on the event shows the city signed $840,000 in contracts in 2015 under special approval, while more than $270,000 in contracts were signed in the last 3 months of 2015 alone.
In all, city of Windsor Treasurer Onorio Colucci estimates that the city has already spent $1.3 million toward the estimated total bill of $11.3 million to host the event, keeping in mind that total estimate doesn’t include the $7.5 million warm-up pool construction. Nor does that total include a $400,000 expenditure in LED lighting necessary for the event to be broadcast.
Among the known expenditures included in The Windsor Star’s piece were the following:
- $100,000 salary for Kelly Stefanyshyn, Head of Security
- $110,000 for Pam Mady, responsible for overseeing communications for the event
- $285,000 salary (plus expenses) to Executive Director Peter Knowles, who also stays at a $2600/month townhouse at Windsor taxpayers’ expense
- $9500 expenditure for the mascots costume design and manufacture
- $10,000 for Opening Ceremony choreography
- $50,000 contract with engineer Ed A. O. Meyer for consulting work
- $50,000 to Ortholingua for French language translation
- $52.500 salary to the Legacy Program Coordinator
- $400,000 to be spent by the city on hotel rooms during the event
- $96,000 to HTG Management to manage the hotel reservations
- $16,600 Web Design Work
- $58,000 IT Consultant
The aforementioned expenditures along with others may “seem high” said Tony Ardovini, Windsor’s Deputy Treasurer, but says that all of them flow through the city. “We’re getting money from senior levels,” Ardovini says. That includes $1.65 million already received in combination from the province of Ontario, as well as the federal government to assist with cash flow.