The organizing body for the Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games has launched its tender process to find producers for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as torch relays for the flagship events.
As part of the campaign, it has launched a guide called Light Up the Games for potential applicants, calling for them to display the “Italian spirit” and Olympic and Paralympic values in their bids.
The brochure adds: “It is important that the athletes experience both the opening and closing ceremonies which are significant moments of their Games experience.”
The Olympic opening ceremony is due to take place at the historic San Siro stadium in Milan, home to Italian soccer giants AC Milan and Inter Milan, on February 6, 2026. The Olympic closing ceremony and the Paralympic opening ceremony, meanwhile, will both be held in the Arena di Verona on February 22 and March 6, respectively.
The Paralympic closing ceremony is then scheduled for Cortina D’Ampezzo on March 15.
Tenders are to be submitted through an online process, with the final date for applications set for August 28.
Applicants for the contract for producing the Olympic opening, closing, and Paralympic opening ceremonies must possess “consolidated experience in planning, organizing and staging Olympic Games ceremonies (at least in two different editions or two ceremonies in one edition).”
The tender asks applicants to consider the geographical spread of clients and spectators, adding: “To ensure the strategic success of the ceremonies, it is crucial to consider and evaluate any creative solutions that enable involving all the different clusters.”
Those bidding for the contract are required to give an “initial presentation of the general creative approach and vision for the relevant ceremonies, aligned with the visual identity and vision of the Games.”
Budgetary details are to include a breakdown of costs in specific areas such as artistic production, creativity, technology, workforce, and administration, while the tenders will also be required to include how “protocol” elements will be dealt with in the Games.
Bids are also being sought for staging the Olympic and Paralympic torch relays, with applicants required to have “consolidated experience in planning, organizing, and staging major sport and roadshow/itinerary events (preferably Olympic torch relay).”
Any group is allowed to bid for more than one of the projects, but a “maximum of three lots listed can be awarded to one contractor.”
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