Cal­gary city coun­cil mulls putting more money into 2026 bid

Medicine Hat News - - SPORTS - DONNA SPENCER

Cal­gary is com­ing up on an off-ramp for the 2026 Win­ter Games as city coun­cil con­tem­plates spend­ing more money on a po­ten­tial bid.

A project team com­prised of city ad­min­is­tra­tion and con­sul­tants asked coun­cil Mon­day for $2 mil­lion to con­tinue the work of the Cal­gary Bid Ex­plo­ration Com­mit­tee, which ended op­er­a­tions Oct. 31.

Coun­cil heard the ra­tio­nale be­hind the ask and will de­cide next week whether to grant that re­quest.

“My un­der­stand­ing from what we’re hear­ing today is with­out the ad­di­tional fund­ing it will be very, very hard to ac­tu­ally move for­ward, so coun­cil needs to de­ter­mine if they’re in for a bit more here,” Mayor Na­heed Nen­shi said.

Coun­cil com­mit­ted $5 mil­lion just over a year ago to CBEC, which con­cluded the price tag for host­ing the 2026 Olympic and Par­a­lympic Games would be ap­prox­i­mately $4.6 bil­lion.

CBEC pre­dicted Games rev­enue would cover al­most the cost, but an­other $2.4 bil­lion would be needed.

CBEC’s work came in $1.5 mil­lion un­der bud­get. The sav­ings were passed onto a city project team that has taken over as­sess­ing risk of host­ing the Games.

Coun­cil wants a deep dive into ad­dress­ing five ar­eas be­fore it green­lights a bid: cap­i­tal costs; se­cu­rity; op­er­at­ing costs; fi­nances; and fi­nan­cial guar­an­tees.

An­nounce­ments by the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee since CBEC’s re­port have changed time­lines and al­tered the fi­nan­cial pic­ture for ci­ties in­ter­ested in 2026.

The IOC will in­vite ci­ties to bid in Oc­to­ber, 2018, fol­lowed by bid sub­mis­sions in Jan­uary, 2019. The lat­ter is six months ear­lier than the orig­i­nal dead­line for bids in late 2019.

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