Dave King, left, Linda King, right, son and daughter of Frank King, wearing 1988 Calgary Olympic jackets react to the results of a plebiscite on whether the city should proceed with a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics, in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. Calgary city council has hammered the final nail in the coffin of a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Calgary city council votes to shut down bid for 2026 Winter Games

More than half of those who went to the polls voted ‘no’ to bidding for the games

Calgary city council has hammered the final nail in the coffin of a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Council voted unanimously Monday to scuttle a bid following last week’s non-binding plebiscite, in which 56 per cent of those who went to the polls voted ‘no’ to bidding for the games.

Calgary was the host city of the 1988 Winter Olympics.

READ MORE: What now for Calgary, Canada and Olympic Games after 2026 rejection?

The venues from those games, which are still used by recreational and high-performance athletes three decades later, were the foundation of another potential bid.

But a cost-sharing agreement between the federal, provincial and municipal governments wasn’t finalized until Oct. 31, which was less than two weeks prior to the plebiscite.

READ MORE: Olympic and Paralympic committees disappointed, but respectful of Calgary vote

The bid corporation Calgary 2026 estimated the total cost of hosting the games at $5.1 billion. The bidco asked for a $2.875 billion contribution split between the city, provincial and federal governments.

The Alberta government committed $700 million and the Canadian government $1.45 billion. The city was asked to contribute $390 million.

“I’m disappointed in the plebiscite result and I think we will have a great deal of work to do as we move forward, because ultimately we did as a community say ‘no’ to a lot of funding,” Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi said in chambers.

“Now our job is, as it always is, to continue to try and replace that funding.

“Certainly there are people who are happy about the plebiscite result, there are people who are disappointed about the plebiscite result, but ultimately it was an opportunity to think about ourselves and think about our future and I think that’s a very good thing.”

How to a pay for a new indoor fieldhouse, which the city has long identified as a recreational need, and the renewal of the ‘88 legacy facilities that have helped make Canada a winter-sport powerhouse remain a priority, the mayor said.

The draft host plan for 2026 had committed $502 million to the ‘88 venues to get them Games-ready again.

“I think that we agree that our legacy as a winter-sport city is a really important part of our identity and a really important part of who we are,” Nenshi said.

The almost 2,000 housing units that would have been a 2026 legacy will not be affordable for the city in the short-term, he added.

“That is the one I’m the most sad about,” the mayor said.

Stockholm and a joint Italian bid from Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo are still in the running to host the 2026 Games.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Indigenous festival co-creator looking to build traditonal Okanagan event

The inaugural Okanagan Indigenous Music and Arts Festival is July 6 and 7

Caged: Kelowna Falcons suffer 6th straight loss

The Falcons look for revenge Saturday night after a 15-5 loss

Pirko found guilty in the 2014 second-degree murder of Chris Ausman

A Kelowna jury found Steven Randy Pirko guilty of the second-degree murder

Grievance dismissed: Kelowna bus driver loses case after texting on job

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

UPDATE: Dog bitten by rattlesnake in West Kelowna “going to be OK”

The dog, Bella, is recovering after being bitten on a hike at Rose Valley Trails

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Summerland pioneers had connection to Middlesex, England

Harry Dunsdon and Richard Turner became cattlemen

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Give Hope Wings fundraiser launches Saturday from Pitt Meadows

Flying marathon will benefit low income Canadians needing flights for medical treatment

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Gambler 500 hits Okanagan back roads

Hundreds of off road enthusiasts are rallying in the South Okanagan this… Continue reading

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

Most Read