Sport Manitoba said Dec. 3 that the 2018 Manitoba Games in Thompson last March generated an economic impact of $1.1 million in the city.
An additional $200,000 of economic activity was generated within Manitoba and the economic impact for Canada was calculated at $1.7 million.
The economic data compiled by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) found that direct spending by out-of-town athletes, family members, spectators and other visitors, combined with money spent by event organizers, totalled $859,000 and supported $506,000 in wages and salaries across Canada, the equivalent of nine jobs across the country, with two-thirds of that total in Thompson. A majority of the household income that resulted – $326,000 – stayed in the Thompson area.
Sport Manitoba communications co-ordinator Sarah Tone said that the economic impact is calculated using an economic impact modelling tool called steam pro2.0, which was developed by the CSTA, and analyzes spending by out-of-town visitors, expenditures of event organizers to put on an event, and capital construction costs directly related to hosting an event.
“The visitor statistics cited in this report were derived from an on-site intercept survey that was developed by CSTA’s economic impact consultant for this assignment and administered by volunteers engaged by event organizers during the event,” said Tone.
Games organizers say that more than 1,450 participants took part in 13 sports – including short track speed skating which made its first-ever appearance in the Manitoba Games. About 1,200 were athletes, while 244 were coaches, manager and officials. An estimated 2,500 family supporters took in the games, which had more than 13,000 spectators overall, Manitoba Winter Games record.
“We are incredibly pleased with the overall success of the 2018 Manitoba Games powered by Manitoba Hydro,” said Sport Manitoba president and CEO Jeff Hnatiuk in a news release. “As a direct result of hosting these games in Thompson, we’ve already been involved in the development of new sport programs, with specific interest in speed skating and wrestling in the community. We want to congratulate the organizers, volunteers, and participants who made this one of our best-ever Manitoba Winter Games.”
Mayor Colleen Smook said in the same news release that economic activity was not the most significant impact of the games.
“The boosts to local business, and the many investments from Sport Manitoba, were a huge benefit to Thompson,” said Smook. “What the numbers don’t show, however, might be the most important part of the games for us: the amazing opportunity to showcase the spirit of Thompson at its best, and the reminder of what it means for us to come together as a community, and accomplish something great.”