Calgary mulls using Olympics to build new NHL stadium
Hosting the winter Olympic Games could provide an opportunity for Calgary in Canada to build a new NHL ice hockey stadium, if its bid to host the 2026 games is successful, some city councillors have suggested.
A draft hosting plan unveiled this week foresees no replacement for the Saddledome, the home of the Calgary Flames, but instead includes a new 5,000-seat arena, plus a multi-sports field house.
Earlier this week, Calgary 2026, the bid committee, placed an approximate price of C$5.23 billion ($4 billion) on hosting the winter Olympics, in the draft plan presented to the city council.
Councillors subsequently voted to continue with the bid, and with a planned public plebiscite on 13 November when citizens will be asked whether they want their city to host the games. Taxpayers, in the form of the city, provincial and federal governments, would be expected to contribute about C$3 billion of the total amount.
Jeff Davison, a city councillor who chairs its event centre assessment committee, said: “If there is a yes vote as a result of the plebiscite, we need to prepare ourselves to look at, ‘Are we building the best thing possible for the best use of funds?’”
Calgary previously staged the winter Olympics in 1988.
A referendum ended Sion in Switzerland’s hopes of bidding for the 2026 games, while Graz in Austria withdrew its bid last month because of a lack of support from the government of the state of Styria.
Other 2026 bidders are: Cortina d’Ampezzo/Milan/Turin (Italy); Sapporo (Japan); Stockholm (Sweden); and Erzurum (Turkey).
The International Olympic Committee has set a deadline of 11 January next year for the submission of bids, with IOC members to vote on the host city on 11 September, 2019.