Stockholm 2026 gets counties (but not government) backing as bid books due
Stockholm’s bid to host the 2026 winter Olympic Games has received the backing of the governors of three of the counties that would stage events if the campaign is successful, albeit the support falls short of the government financial guarantees usually demanded by the International Olympic Committee.
The news coincides with today’s deadline for Stockholm and rival bidder Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy to submit their candidature files or ‘bid books’ to the IOC.
Ylva Thorn, Jotan Hagglund and Sven-Erik Osterberg, the heads of the counties of Dalarna, Jamtland and Stockholm, said in a statement that they are “very proud of the bid,” adding that “the whole concept” is to “include already existing arenas and use already planned investments as a go ahead for the games.”
Like Stockholm, the Milan/Cortina bid lacks formal central government guarantees, but Christophe Dubi, the IOC’s executive director for the Olympic Games told reporters in Lausanne this week that the IOC would grant “leeway” for the bids to provide guarantees after today’s deadline.
In November last year Dubi insisted that the IOC had confidence in the two bids, saying: “In Italy there are two cities, two economically strong regions, which are totally engaged. Stockholm is an impressive file that works extremely well. They’re presenting a balanced budget of $1.4 billion without the need for central government cash.
“These are strong files because they’re known quantities. We find ourselves with what we want, namely a return to the cradle of winter sports. So, we are good. We are very good.”
Earlier in the same month Richard Brisius, the chief executive of Stockholm Winter Games, the bid committee, had told Sportcal that the city's bid will provide financial guarantees to the IOC through insurance agreements and other private sources, while the government will provide guarantees over non-financial elements such as security.
Brisius said that the IOC had indicated that this approach would be acceptable, despite its traditional insistence on receiving financial guarantees from the national governments of the countries of bid cities.
Stockholm has pledged to use no taxpayer money to stage the winter Olympics, despite the lack of government financial support, and Brisius said that this has helped to attract support for the games.
The 2026 winter Olympics will be awarded at the IOC Session in June 2019.