IOC makes case for Calgary to bid for 2026 Winter Olympics
Published Friday, November 10, 2017 6:01PM MST Last Updated Friday, November 10, 2017 7:23PM MST
The International Olympic Committee says it is trying to make the games more affordable for host cities and Calgary’s bid committee says it is serious about making a play for the games but more work needs to be done.
City administration is poised to present a report to council members with recommendations and says more money will be required and that a ‘bid corporation’ needs to be created to support the effort.
Calgary's bid exploration committee says it would cost $4.6 billion dollars to host the Olympics and that $2.4 would come from taxpayers.
The IOC says it has its eye on Calgary and that the city has many opportunities.
“You have super assets with a candidature like Calgary,” said Christophe Dubi, IOC Olympic Games Executive Director. “It’s a low-risk candidature.”
The IOC is promoting major changes to the bid process and says it will try to make it more cost effective to host the games.
“We have the benefit of the expertise of these people that have done it before that really can help in technical areas such as security, such as transportation,” said Dubi.
Dubi says some of the 200 cost-saving initiatives have already been introduced in Tokyo.
“And the saving produced there was $2.2 billion,” said Dubi.
The organization is sweetening the pot and is proposing a gift of $925 million USD to the host city.
“925 is what we have to date and we can commit and then there might be small evolutions,” said Dubi. “Fewer cities are submitting bids because of the financial pressure that everyone if feeling everywhere around the globe.”
A new report says it will cost $2 million to continue the quest for a bid, which would be on top of the $3 million that has already been allocated to the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee.
Cities interested in hosting the games must submit their bids by January 2019 and city officials say Calgary needs to start that process by early 2018.
“Things have actually been compressed, substantially, and so we’re looking at requesting council to support, I would call it an increased effort,” said Kyle Ripley.
The IOC says five cities, including Calgary, have expressed interest in submitting a bid but none have formally entered the race.
City staff will present the new timeline and costs for pursuing an Olympic bid to council on Monday.
(With files from Kamil Karamali)