– Alberta would chip in $700M for 2026
CALGARY The Alberta government says it would contribute up to $700 million if Calgary were to hold the 2026 Winter Olympics, but how the remaining costs would be divvied up remains unknown with just a month to go before a plebiscite on whether to bid.
A draft plan for a potential bid pegs the total cost at $5.2 billion. It suggests the city, provincial and federal governments should contribute $3 billion of that. The remainder would come from Games revenue.
Finance Minister Joe Ceci said in a letter to Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and federal Sport Minister Kirsty Duncan that there wouldn’t be any cash beyond the $700 million.
“The government of Alberta will not be able to provide any additional funds that may be required, including those to cover revenue shortfalls or cost overruns,” he wrote Friday.
“Moreover, we will not be providing any form of guarantee for additional costs arising from any source.”
Ceci said the money is contingent on Calgary being awarded the Games and on the bid winning majority support in a Nov. 13 non-binding plebiscite. The province insisted Calgary hold the vote and contributed $2 million to the cost.
Another condition is that there would be increased transparency from bid organizers.
“We believe that is in the best interest of the bid and what Albertans want and expect of their governments,” Ceci said at a news conference. “This is not an unsubstantial amount of money and Albertans should know where it goes and how it is dealt with.”
Duncan has expressed enthusiasm for a bid, but Ottawa has not said exactly how much it would contribute.
Ceci said he’s confident citizens will know before the plebiscite how the federal and municipal governments might split the remaining $2.3 billion.
Calgary and a combined Italian bid of MilanCortina d’Ampezzo could be the only contenders for 2026. A coalition deal to run Stockholm’s city government on Friday leaves the Swedish capital’s potential bid in jeopardy.
The deadline to submit a 2026 bid to the International Olympic Committee is Jan. 11. The successful host city is to be announced in June.