Innsbruck details 2026 winter Olympics bid with help from Germany
An Innsbruck bid to stage the winter Olympic Games in 2026 would involve the German municipality of Inzell, 20 kilometres from the Austrian border, officials from the Austrian Olympic Committee (OOC) have announced.
The OOC is proposing to stage an Olympics without building any games infrastructure, and as a result wants to use the Eisstadion Inzell for the speed skating competitions.
Peter Mennel, general secretary of the OOC, said: "We spoke with Inzell and the municipality expressed interest in the alignment. In Innsbruck, there is no comparable speed skating rink."
The committee revealed a 10-point programme yesterday, off the back of a feasibility study, albeit the bid's fate rests on the outcome of a public referendum on 15 October.
The other plans include: opening and closing ceremonies, figure skating, short track skating, ice hockey, luge, bobsleigh, skeleton and ski jumping in Innsbruck; biathlon in Hochfilzen; Nordic skiing in Seefeld; Alpine skiing in St. Anton am Arlberg; and snowboard events and freestyle skiing in Kühtai.
The OOC is to launch a roadshow over the coming weeks to sell the merits of a winter Olympics to the public ahead of the referendum. Recent referenda on hosting Olympics held in various countries have tended to result in the rejection of bids.
In late June, Innsbruck mayor Christine Oppitz-Ploerer said that a 2026 Olympics in the city was “do-able and affordable.” By using existing venues, the budget would be around €1.175 billion ($1.4 billion).
Innsbruck has hosted the winter Olympics twice before, in 1964 and 1976, and it also staged the inaugural winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012. However, a bid by Salzburg to host the 2014 winter Olympics lost out to Sochi in Russia.
Last month, the International Olympic Committee extended the invitation phase for the 2026 games by four months to September 2018, and announced plans to "reduce costs, simplify procedures and provide more assistance to national Olympic committees and cities at every stage."
Other possible bidders for the winter Olympics include Calgary in Canada, Sion in Switzerland, a city in Norway and Sapporo in Japan. Bids from Sweden and Kazakhstan are also being considered.
The IOC will select the host city in September 2019.