Calgary City Council will be moving ahead with the idea to bring the Winter OIympics back to the city, but officials say they will be cautious in the days ahead.
Councillors voted 9 to 4 on Wednesday to keep working with the International Olympic Committee and explore funding possibilities for the Games.
However, they did say that a lot more information would be needed to really make a decision on whether to submit a formal bid or drop the discussion altogether.
An earlier report from Calgary’s bid exploration committee put the cost of hosting the Games at $4.6B that would be offset by an estimated $2.2B in sponsorship and ticket sales.
The remaining $2.4B would need to be made up from other sources.
Council does admit that residents do want to see the Games return to Calgary, but they are still concerned about the high costs.
“We have invested so much money in this so far, so we might as well see it through,” said Ward 10 councillor Andre Chabot. “I’m still skeptical about the outcome because it looks like we might have to take on too much debt. Somebody’s going to have to step up and supply a whole bunch of funding before I will support it; the federal government, provincial government and the IOC.”
Originally, when the bid process started, a final decision was expected to be made next month.
In July, the IOC changed the rules for bidders and gave them another year to compile their bids.
Administrators are now moving onto what is being called the ‘invitation phase’, where costs and funding options will be looked at in greater detail.
The bid exploration committee will use the $2M left in the budget to conduct its work.
The next update is expected in September.