Cal­gary gets more time for its 2026 Olympic bid

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DONNA SPENCER

Cal­gary has ex­tra time to mull a pos­si­ble bid for the 2026 Win­ter Olympics and Par­a­lympics be­cause the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee has shifted its time­lines.

The IOC an­nounced Tues­day in Lau­sanne, Switzer­land, that the “in­vi­ta­tion phase” start­ing in Septem­ber for 2026 bids will be ex­panded to a full year to give “cities more time and more help to de­velop their pro­pos­als.”

With the win­ning bid to be an­nounced Septem­ber 2019, the for­mal bid process has been short­ened to one year from two which re­duces costs, the IOC said in a state­ment on its web­site.

“In a nut­shell, the can­di­da­ture process which worked so well in the past has be­come too ex­pen­sive and too oner­ous for this new po­lit­i­cal re­al­ity,” IOC pres­i­dent Thomas Bach said.

“We have been ask­ing too much, too soon of the cities.”

With fewer cities in­ter­ested in host­ing Olympic Games, the IOC has adopted a se­ries of re­forms un­der the ban­ner of Agenda 2020 to make bid­ding and host­ing less ex­pen­sive.

The Cal­gary Bid Ex­plo­ration Com­mit­tee told city coun­cil last month the price tag to host the 2026 Win­ter Games would be about $4.6 bil­lion.

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

CBEC and city ad­min­is­tra­tion are sched­uled to make rec­om­men­da­tions to coun­cil July 24 on a pos­si­ble bid.

Cal­gary mayor Na­heed Nen­shi has said it will be dif­fi­cult for coun­cil to make a de­ci­sion with­out hav­ing a 2026 host city con­tract from the IOC lay­ing out prin­ci­ples and op­er­a­tional re­quire­ments.

When the 17-mem­ber CBEC was formed, they worked un­der an ini­tial dead­line of Septem­ber 2017, as the Cana­dian Olympic Com­mit­tee ex­pected to have to put for­ward the name of a can­di­date city to the IOC then.

“The IOC has made sig­nif­i­cant steps to­wards im­ple­ment­ing Agenda 2020 re­forms and has been a great part­ner in our ini­tial ex­plo­rations re­gard­ing a po­ten­tial Cal­gary 2026 bid,” COC chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Chris Over­holt said in a state­ment.

“We look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing this im­por­tant di­a­logue with the IOC and de­vel­op­ing a new Win­ter Games host­ing model that makes sense for our cit­i­zens to sup­port.”

The 2010 Win­ter Games in Van­cou­ver and Whistler, B.C., cost $7.7 bil­lion.

Cal­gary’s es­ti­mate is lower in part be­cause the city can re-use venues from the 1988 Win­ter Games, CBEC chair Rick Han­son has said.

Sion, Switzer­land, and Inns­bruck, Aus­tria, are among Cal­gary’s po­ten­tial ri­vals for a 2026 bid.

The 2018 Win­ter Games are in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in Fe­bru­ary.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.