Calgary’s potential Olympic bid deadline pushed back one year
Bid exploration committee will still deliver its recommendation this month
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The International Olympic Committee announced that cities bidding on the 2026 Winter Olympics will have more time to think it over, but it probably won’t change much for the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee (CBEC).
“In the short term, it doesn’t change our immediate timeline to council and our recommendations on July 24,” said Sean Beardow, spokesman for CBEC, who noted they are going through the information released today.
He said CBEC was assigned a clear mandate by city council to explore the feasibility of a potential bid, and said they’re still on track to give that recommendation in a few weeks.
“Anything that happens from there is really at the discretion of council,” said Beardow.
The IOC announced Tuesday that the “invitation phase’’ starting in September for 2026 bids will be expanded to a full year to give “cities more time and more help to develop their proposals.’’
That means Calgary won’t have to commit to making a bid until September 2018, and that the decision could be passed on to the new council, to be elected October.
Previously, Calgary had to be either in or out by September of this year.
With the winning bid to be announced September, 2019, the formal bid process has been shortened to one year from two which reduces costs, the IOC said in a statement on its website.
CBEC told city council last month the price tag to host the 2026 Winter Games will be about $4.6 billion. CBEC said revenue the Games generate would cover almost half the cost, but another $2.4 billion would be needed.
However the IOC issued a statement once that price had been released, saying it could help the city keep the cost even lower.
Sion, Switzerland, and Innsbruck, Austria, are among Calgary’s potential rivals for a 2026 bid.
- With files from The Canadian Press