The City of Moncton has announced it will be sending two delegates to a sports conference in Russia, at a cost of almost $20,000.

“It’s $18,000, it might be $17,000, it might be $19,000, but it’s a very small investment,” says Coun. Daniel Bourgeois.

Bourgeois says he supports the city’s decision to send the staffers to the Russian sports conference because it promotes Moncton as a sporting destination.

At least one sports fan agrees with Bourgeois.

“I do, if they…are successful in being able to bring more different opportunities into the area, to bring extra people in, because that would create revenue for the city,” says sports fan Susan Gallant.

The trip, however, is not sitting well with Kevin Lacey.

“This is too much for taxpayers,” says the Canadian Taxpayers Federation spokesman.

“They’re giving a lot and it’s up to the city to do their part, rather than send people on fancy conferences.”

Part of the city’s strategy to attract big-ticket sporting events is to build a new sports complex on the site of the now-closed Highfield Square Shopping Centre in Moncton.

However, there isn’t a consensus on how to move forward with the development. Tempers flared at this week’s city council meeting when the issue came up, largely, over how much should fund be funded by taxpayers.

Moncton officials have said they are targeting events such as curling and rugby, because they are a good fit for the facilities the city has to offer.

With files from CTV Atlantic's David Bell