Calgarians weigh in for and against Olympic bid
As the city prepares its bid for the 2026 Olympic Games, Calgarians are weighing the pros and cons of hosting the event.
A recent poll shows 61 per cent of Calgarians support the bid, 28 per cent oppose it and 11 per cent are unsure. The biggest support is among people aged 18 to 34.
“It's likely that a lot of Calgarians who are younger, who don't remember the ‘88 games, there's a bit of a sense that we want our own games,” said Quito Maggi, Mainstream Research. “I would go beyond that, I believe and maybe just my opinion not from these numbers, that if we were to ask all of Canada if they would want to see another Olympics in Calgary, that it would receive pretty broad support as well, I think it’s something Canadians do remember quite fondly.”
The poll also shows that among those in support of the bid, 64 per cent want to host them because of civic pride and to promote the city on a world stage, 18 per cent for entertainment value and 11 per cent hope it will boost the economy.
"Calgary always puts on a good party!" said Corina Murdoff. “The dynamics of the city have changed and they need something to make them feel really positive again.’
"We had the best Olympics ever here, it was great, everybody got together, we were able to pay for everything, we had great facilities, there are lots of sports that train here now and we got lots of great athletes because of it so yeah I'd say we can do it again," said Derek Fenty.
But for those opposed to the idea, the big concern is the cost. The 1988 Calgary Olympics ran up an $829 million bill, though in the end, it was the first games to actually turn a profit. Still, some worry that our city has been though the economic wringer and might not be able to support the spending necessary for the games.
“I love the Olympics but I don’t think it’s a worthwhile amount of money to be spending on the Olympics for having it here because it just costs too much money,” said Selina Renfrow.
The city has invested $5 million in a committee which will provide a report to council on the feasibility and advisability of pursuing a formal bid. Council will then vote on whether to make a formal bid to the IOC to host the games
The city with the winning bid will be announced in 2019.