Calgary city council votes to continue Olympic bid exploration

    April 16, 2018

    Work on possible 2026 Winter Games bid would have ceased had confidence vote failed.

    calgary-olympics-opening-1988---Calgary---Jonathan-Utz-AFP-Getty-Images.jpg
    Fans cheer and wave flags as the Canadian delegation, lower right, parades during
    the opening ceremony of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. 
    (Jonathan Utz/AFP/Getty Images)


    Calgary city council voted Monday to continue to explore the possibility of bidding for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

    The motion to reaffirm council's support for the investigation of a bid, which passed by a margin of 9-6, was put to council after several members expressed frustration at the way city bureaucrats had been handling the process.

    A related motion to create a council sub-committee that will oversee the Olympic bid discussions going forward also passed.

    The city has been officially looking into the possibly of making a bid for the 2026 games since 2016, when former police chief Rick Hanson was hired to head a 17-member committee and produce a feasibility study.

    Last June, the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee concluded a bid was feasible, and that hosting the 2026 Olympics would cost around $4.6 billion, but that it would require $2.4 billion in funding to cover the shortfall between revenue and costs.

    The committee told council that further exploration was needed in order to determine whether it would be prudent for Calgary to bid for the Olympics.

    To answer that question, council established the Calgary 2026 Olympic Bid Project Team, which has been continuing to examine the issue.

    Last month, council voted 8-6 to spend additional money and to take the next step — setting up a bid corporation — so long as the federal and provincial governments each contributed $10 million toward the $30-million cost.

    The province and Ottawa have since agreed to contribute to the bid corporation, but Premier Rachel Notley's government said the money is conditional on Calgary holding a plebiscite to gauge public support.

    Read the full CBC news article