Talks on bringing a major sporting event to the city next year, which has the potential to attract up to 1,500 athletes and boost the local economy, are at an advanced stage with hopes that contracts will be signed shortly, according to Fianna Fáil city councillor Michael Crowe.
Councillor Crowe, chair of the transportation and infrastructure committee, confirmed yesterday that he had held talks with an interested party who is seeking to hold the Galway City Triathlon in 2014. It is understood the organisors are at an advanced stage of signing a contract to bring an internationally recognised triathlon brand to the city. Cllr Crowe added that although there were still a number of issues to be resolved, he was confident a formal announcement would be made within the next two weeks.
“I think it important for a number of reasons that Galway city has its own annual triathlon,” he said. “When I was mayor I prioritised this and helped secure Ironman for Galway. It ran for two years. Unfortunately, it will not be held in Galway for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, I think we need to have a triathlon in the city and we need to put together a plan to have one for, say the next three years.
“I have gone through the exact details with the organisers and can confirm that they have done an enormous amount of research and know what is required for such an event to be a success. The aim is that there would be 1,500 participants comprised of local, national, and international athletes,” said Cllr Crowe, who added that as these participants will require accommodation, food, and other services there will be knock-on economic benefit to businesses in the city.
Cllr Crowe said that logistical challenges are currently being ironed out during the talks and that he is confident these will be sorted out. The organisers have also been informed that if and when this event takes place significant prior warning and notice must be given to local residents in affected areas.