Edmonton wins bid to host 2014 ITU Grand Final triathlon

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Bernie Poitras, Communications (ETA)

January 28, 2013 Edmonton, AB – The Grand Final, triathlon’s largest race on the International Triathlon Union (ITU) calendar, is coming to Edmonton in September, 2014. The Edmonton Triathlon Academy was awarded the rights to stage the event following its presentation at an ITU Executive Board meeting in Madrid, Spain over the weekend.

Edmonton will replace San Diego as host the Series Grand Final, the final race on the 2014 World Triathlon Series calendar. The event will attract more than 5,000 athletes and a worldwide television audience of 21 million in 160 countries.

“We’re ecstatic about hosting the triathlon world in 2014,” says Sheila O’Kelly, Executive Director, Edmonton Triathlon Academy. “The Grand Final is the biggest stage of the year for triathletes and Edmonton is a perfect setting for the world’s best – more than 5,000 elite, age group, junior and paratriathletes from all continents will descend on Edmonton.”

“The awarding of the 2014 ITU Grand Final reinforces that Edmonton is Canada’s triathlon city and that we are one of the world’s top triathlon cities,” says Councillor and Academy board member Jane Batty. “This is an exciting opportunity for Edmontonians to welcome not only participants, coaches and fans to our city, but also to showcase Edmonton to the more than 21 million TV viewers around the world, who are expected to watch the action. The event is also expected to provide an expected economic impact of $16 million into the city, making it a truly win-win situation.”

In October 2012, the Edmonton Triathlon Academy agreed to consider hosting the race when organizers in San Diego withdrew their intent to host the international event. The race will bring an estimated economic impact of $16 million. The bid was supported by a City of Edmonton financial contribution of $2 million and the total operating budget for the week-long event is $5+ million.

Since November 2012, the Academy has been working with ITU and the City of Edmonton to review the swimming venue currently used for the World Cup and assess its suitability for a large scale race. On January 23, Edmonton City Council approved and additional $1.3 million in funding to make upgrades to Hawrelak Lake. Funding from other levels of government and sponsorship revenue will make up the rest of the funds required to put on the race.