Calgary’s dream of hosting the Winter Olympics for the second time has received an extended lifespan – at least until early next year.
On Monday evening, City Council voted 9-4 to continue with studying the feasibility of a bid, which entails providing the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee (CBEC) with a further $1 million in funding to continue its work.
If municipal officials are able to gain the support of the provincial and federal governmenta, an additional $1 million will be spent.
To date, the bid exploration effort through CBEC has cost $5 million.
At this early stage, CBEC estimates a Calgary 2026 Olympics would cost $4.6 billion, with an aim of having the federal government cover $1.2 billion and the provincial and municipal governments with the remainder.
To reduce costs even further, CBEC is contemplating including the Whistler Olympic Park ski jump and Edmonton’s arenas as possible venues in its bid plan. The Calgary Olympic Park ski jumps require extensive investment to return the venue to international competition standards, and Calgary is in the middle of an arena debacle.
The International Olympic Committee has established March 31, 2018 as the deadline for prospective bid cities to formally state their candidacy. The decision on the 2026 host city will be decided at the 134th IOC Session in July 2019 in Milan, Italy.
Calgary City Council will make a final decision on moving forward with the bid in February after the Pyeongchang 2018 Games.