Calgary will spend up to $5 million considering Olympic Winter Games bid

Jun 21 2016, 10:39 pm

Looks like the city is one step closer to considering a bid to host another Winter Olympics.

On Monday, City Council voted in favour of spending up to $5 million on an exploration committee, seeing if Calgary should take the next step in actually bidding for the Games.

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“From almost the moment that I was elected mayor six years ago, almost, citizens have been coming to me saying it’s time,” Mayor Nenshi said. “It’s time in the worldwide Olympic movement, it’s time in the sport history of this city, and it’s time in the cultural history of the city for us to bid for another Olympic games.

“What council heard today is that it is time. It is time to explore this bid in detail… What council endorsed today was an opportunity to go forward, spend a little bit of money, gather more data.”

Calgary and Quebec City were defeated by Vancouver in 1998 for the Canadian rights to bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics, which went on to spend $34 million on their pitch to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Like Vancouver 2010’s use of existing indoor venues, much of Calgary’s competition sports venue requirements can be fulfilled by the refurbishment and renovation of existing sports venues built for the 1988 Games.

“It’s time to show that we can do an Agenda 2020 Olympics, that is an Olympics that don’t blow the bank, an Olympics that don’t look like recent Games, an Olympics that reuse facilities in a thoughtful way… If it looks like it’s going to be Sochi we pull the plug,” Nenshi said.

In September 2015, Toronto mayor John Tory decided not to proceed with a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics given the high costs associated with both preparing a bid and hosting the massive event.

The IOC is expected to make a decision on the 2026 host city in the summer of 2019.

DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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