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Final report on Calgary’s possible Olympic bid released
Published Monday, July 24, 2017 5:54AM MDT
Last Updated Monday, July 24, 2017 6:39PM MDT
A committee looking into the possibility of Calgary hosting the 2026 Olympic Games has submitted a number of recommendations in its final report to city council on Monday.
The board says that Calgary can host the games for a second time, but more time will be needed to determine if it should do so.
Council was expected to make a decision shortly after the final report was submitted, but when the International Olympic Committee said it would updating the bid process, the deadline was pushed back by a year.
In the changes, the IOC offered to help the city reduce its forecasted operational costs. The agency also says there are new Host City Requirements that have yet to be released.
That means that council won’t need to decide until after the 2018 Games in South Korea.
Committee members say the extra time is needed because there are still more unanswered questions, particularly about costs.
In June, the committee announced that it would cost the city $4.6B to host the Olympic Games with nearly half of that amount coming from public money.
After other contributions, there is still a shortfall of $400M.
Board members do say that will all the funding, everything would be ready for the Games.
"The venues and accomodations would be completed on time, meet IOC and sports federation specs and provide post-game legacy," said Rick Hanson, chair of the bid exploration committee. "The concept minimized new Game-specific infrastructure by maximizing use of existing 1988 venues."
Aside from cost, council also wants to know about Calgarians’ appetite to host another Olympic Games.
Councillor Sean Chu wants to have a plebiscite question added to ballots for this fall’s election.
He thinks voters should have a say about whether or not Calgary should bid on the Games.
But Chu’s motion doesn’t come cheap; the process to include the question is estimated at $400,000.
However, the committee says that a potential bid should still be explored, but with consideration to the IOC changes making a meaningful difference to cost estimates.
The board also wants to be sure that all levels of government support and offer funding to the 2026 Games in Calgary.
The bid committee also says that the IOC changes will also need to be reviewed to ensure positive returns for legacy benefits, economic development and job creation.
A new arena, including a fieldhouse, has also been named an essential part of the bid process, the board says.
Prior to the IOC's changes, the bid committee compiled a 5,400 page report at a cost of $3.2M. There is no estimate on how much more money will be needed to complete the revisions under the new rules.
The bid committee's summarized recommendations are available below.