News / Calgary

How it costs $5 million to ask if Calgary should host the 2026 Olympics

The bid exploration committee for the Olympics has some work to do

It seems like a lot of dough just to say yay or nay. Metro explores the breakdown of the numbers.

CP File Photo

It seems like a lot of dough just to say yay or nay. Metro explores the breakdown of the numbers.

In confidential documents, revealed after the city and committee (nicknamed BIDEXCO) signed a funding agreement, details emerge on how exactly the city is spending $5 million to not prepare a bid, but explore if the city should have one at all.

Spoiler: the largest piece of pie is going towards a “Master Hosting Plan.”

According to the report prepared for council by the Calgary Sport Tourism Authority, creating the hosting plan would be a win with or without an Olympic bid.

“Calgary has a deficiency of sport, meeting and entertainment facilities and that some of the existing facilities are nearing the end of their useful lives,” read the report. “Calgary’s ability to host events and continue its leadership role in winter sport will eventually be compromised – impacting tourism, economic and sport development opportunities.” 


The idea being that a Master Hosting Plan will create a blueprint and help the City keep up their various facilities.

“Our goal is to produce a report that will be of value to Calgarians whether or not the city moves forward with the bid,” said BIDEXO chair Rick Hanson told reporters on Monday. “It will include a thorough review of all related sports facilities, it will help the city plan on how to keep them at their best for all Calgarians.”

But where is the money coming from? The Fiscal Stability Fund, sometimes nicknamed the city’s “rainy day fund.” Council approved a one-time draw of $4.7 million for BIDEXCO’s work and $0.3 million for support form administration.

The $5 million budget was set with in-kind donations in mind, hoping to reduce costs to the city by collecting services through donation. And what’s more, not all the cash being spent on this will be public dollars. BIDEXCO will try to fundraise up to $1 million from private corporate and public sector to be used in place of city funds, if available.