Money will be spent re­gard­less

Calgary Herald - - OPINION -

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


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