More number crunching needed before committee decides on Calgary Olympic bid

Calgary Olympic bid report on track for July

CALGARY — More number-crunching is needed to determine whether Calgary should vie to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the chair of the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee said Monday.

The 17-member committee chaired by former police chief Rick Hanson is weighing whether it’s feasible for Calgary and nearby Rocky Mountain communities to successfully host the games in a financially responsible manner. If so, the group must then decide whether it’s prudent to bid.

In an interim report released Monday, the committee did not say whether it is leaning in any one direction, but said it’s on track to make a recommendation to city council in July.

Hanson said based on polling and consultations so far, many Calgarians like the idea of hosting the games, but have questions about the price tag and security.

“One of the things that’s so evident in talking to the community is they’re saying, ‘We don’t want to be surprised. We don’t want to kind of be overwhelmed by how good it feels to host the games… We want to know what it’s going to cost.'”

The funding required by cities that hosted recent Winter Games has averaged around $3.2 billion, the report said. That included Salt Lake City, Turin and Vancouver. Sochi was treated as an outlier because of its significantly higher costs.

However, Hanson said it’s tough to know how Calgary would compare as it has some existing facilities from the 1988 Winter Games that could be used again, thereby lowering the costs.

“We’ve got venues that are in really good shape still,” he said.

New facilities and upgrades will be needed, though, as the number of events and athletes has doubled since 1988. For instance, Calgary will need to have two full-sized arenas and to update or replace the out-of-date ski jump at Canada Olympic Park.  

Hanson added that having venues clustered together both in the city and the mountains would help bring down security costs.

“Have we, as a committee, landed on a yes or no? No, we have not,” said Hanson.

“We’re still waiting and drilling down to get the numbers we need because there’s only one thing this committee has, and that is credibility that we’re doing the job properly.”

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Need to catch up on news? You’re covered

Every Saturday the Capital News will highlight stories from the week

Big White board school among best

Director of snow sports, Josh Foster, is one of the top instructors in Canada

Seniors prefer funeral to lifestyle planning

Survey finds 73% of seniors have a will, only 13% have long-term care plan

Okanagan College business students soar

Medal winners at Western Canadian Business Competition

UBCO civil engineer touts cohousing option

Gord Lovegrove says cohousing is sustainable social and economic lifestyle

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

Most Read