IOC responds to Calgary's Olympic cost estimate
International Olympic Committee says it thinks it can find more savings for city
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Keeping tabs on the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee, the International Olympics Committee believes it can save the city some cash, should they choose the Canadian city as the host of the 2026 Olympic Games.
On Tuesday, the IOC released a statement on the city's draft budget to host the Games. CBEC, the group working to give councillors a yes or no answer on whether or not the city should go forward with a bid, pegged early numbers at $4.6 billion to host the Olympics, with a chance to boost the GDP by $2.2 to $2.6 billion, with an operational revenue of $2.2 billion.
"We remain confident that by working together to refine operational planning, that opportunities exist for significant savings," read a statement from IOC spokespeople. "We understand that Calgary’s estimated budget has been modelled on the experience of Vancouver 2010, and did not benefit from the new approach of organizing the Games, which emphasizes efficiencies and sustainability in the context of a city’s long-term planning as a part of the Olympic Agenda 2020 framework."
Mayor Naheed Nenshi was not available for comment on Wednesday.
But Coun. Druh Farrell, who continues to raise concerns about an Olympic bid said she finds it hard to see where the IOC could cut costs in a vision of the Games that already integrates their Agenda 2020 framework.
According to Robert Livingstone, who follows Olympic bid news for gamesbids.com, suggested the IOC's statement is strange.
"It's very unusual at this stage for them to interject," Livingstone said "Innsbruck and Sion face dangerous referendums and after losing four European bids for 2022 - the IOC wants to protect anything viable, such as Calgary with decent support."
The IOC's statement continued to outline that they've created a working group to look into reducing operational costs to the Winter Games, but that CBEC wasn't able to take that into consideration during their deliberations.
"They will certainly result in a positive impact on Calgary’s budget," read the statement. "We look forward to continuing to work with the committee as it refines its project.”
Sean Beardow, a CBEC spokesman said they've been in regular contact with the IOC. He said they're looking forward to is receiving the 2026 candidature guidelines and the host-city contract to review it and update their report.