Other Canadian cities could be roped into Calgary bid as council ponders extra C$2m
Officials behind a possible bid for Calgary in Canada to host the 2026 winter Olympic Games are reported to be considering making use of facilities in other Canadian cities, including Whistler, which hosted events at the Vancouver 2010 games, and Edmonton.
The plan compares with a previous stance which argued that spreading the games over a wide area would drive up expenses such as security, travel and accommodation.
However, a local council meeting today was set to ponder whether to “specifically explore venues outside of Calgary… in order to reduce the costs of hosting the 2026” Olympics, the agenda says, according to the Globe and Mail newspaper.
Two arenas in Edmonton “will almost certainly be explored as possible venues, perhaps for curling or hockey games,” the newspaper reported, while the ski jumping facilities in Whistler are also likely to be considered.
City administrators were today expected to ask for an estimated C$2 million ($1.6 million), in addition to the C$5 million already allocated to exploring the feasibility of a bid, with the cash to be used to form a de facto bid corporation, in response to recent changes to the International Olympic Committee’s 2026 candidature process.
There was expected to be intense debate over the extra expenditure, with the bid process at risk of being terminated if the council rejects the request.
The Calgary Bid Exploration Committee reported at the end of October that a bid is feasible, having spent C$3.5 million on a feasibility study, but demanded clarity over which levels of government would be responsible for financing various elements of the games, including capital, security and operating costs, along with the financial guarantee demanded by the IOC.
Hosting the games would cost C$4.6 billion, it has been estimated.
Other possible bidders include Sion in Switzerland, the Telemark region in Norway, cities in USA, Turkey and Kazakhstan, Stockholm in Sweden and Sapporo in Japan.