Group pushes Saint John-Kennebecasis Valley bid for Acadian Games

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A group is lobbying the municipalities of Saint John, Rothesay and Quispamsis to make a joint bid for the Acadian games in 2020.

The region last had the games, better known as the Jeux de l'Acadie, in 2010. Then it was only Saint John that hosted.

Michel Côté, a spokesperson for the bid group, said reaction to bringing the 41st version of the games to the city and Kennebecasis Valley has been positive.

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"Everybody's excited about it," he said.  "We still have to meet with Saint John council, but so far so good."

Spread across area 

Thousands of francophones live in the Saint John area, and Côté said hosting the games would foster a sense of community.

"It's just that we're scattered everywhere within the majority," he said.

The sense of community wouldn't be the only benefit of the games, Côté said. There is also an economic element.

"Its over $1.15 million spinoff. It's five days of competition. All [the] parents, sisters, brothers, uncles, grandparents are coming down to see their kids perform. Its great for the economy of the region."

3 hosts, higher quality

Côté said the games in 2010 were well done, but expanding the hosting duties to three communities would increase the quality of the facilities.

Plenty of volunteers are also needed to put on the games, from cooking for the athletes to housing them.

This is why the group made the decision to expand the proposed hosting duties to three municipalities.

"People are still talking about the 2010 games being really nice games," said Côté. "We're thinking expanding to the valley will be a nice touch."

The group has until the end of June to put forward a bid. The decision on the 2020 games will be made in November.

Fredericton will host this year's edition of the games.