Money will be spent regardless
Re: Olympics debate comes down to debt, Sept. 19
The City of Calgary’s debt will be essentially the same with or without hosting the Winter Olympics in 2026. Four key facts drive this:
1. These would be the first Olympics to make extensive use of existing facilities. This substantially reduces both the initial capital cost estimate and the risk of capital overruns.
2. The city is planning on building a new multi-use field house in the next few years, with or without the Olympics. We will also have to refurbish existing facilities in the next decade if we want to continue to support our local aspiring Olympians and draw world-class events to our city. All of this will cost over $500 million.
3. Of the $3 billion in public funding required, the federal and provincial governments are expected to contribute close to $2.5 billion. That leaves the city having to fund approximately $500 million — the same amount we would spend without the Olympics.
4. Without the Olympics, Calgary will not get one cent of the $2.5 billion. These funds would only be available to support hosting the Olympics.
Add in the legacy value of the housing and our opportunity to showcase Calgary to the world and enhance our ability to attract new business to the city, it’s an easy YES for me.
Don Goodrow, Calgary