Calgary could stop contemplating a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games if the provincial and federal governments don’t agree to financially support the process by early in the new year.
City councillors on Monday voted to offer municipal bureaucrats $1-million to continue research into bidding for the Games. Calgary’s administrators will probably get another $1-million if they have the ability to convince Ottawa and Edmonton to finance the bidding procedure. Calgary has already spent5-million researching whether to compete for the world’s premier winter sporting party.
The decision immediately gives Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley a massive amount of control over Calgary’s Olympic aspirations. It will cost between $25-million and $30-million for the bidding, for example, money Calgary has already spent, according to city staff. They expect the federal government would pay up to 35 percent of that bill.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who voted in support of furthering Calgary’s Olympic procedure, said he’s meeting with Ms. Notley next week. Council also voted in support of investigating potential places outside Calgary — a choice which means Edmonton is going to be folded into the procedure given its two athletic infrastructure. The provincial government is more inclined to encourage the Olympics if cities apart from Calgary and its neighbouring mountain towns are included because provincial politicians may then assert they aren’t just supporting Calgary.
Evan Woolley, a councillor who voted in favour of directing more money toward the mining effort, said he’s become more optimistic as the town collects information.
“Our financing gap is decreasing and our odds of winning are going up significantly,” he said in the council meeting.
Potential host cities have until March 31, 2018, to enter the International Olympic Committee’s so-called dialogue phase. By jumping in, cities have a opportunity to negotiate with the IOC and better understand their financial obligations.
Olympic proponents in Calgary expect the IOC will sweeten its offer to town, which makes playing host to the Games more financially palatable.
A group called the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee earlier this year estimated that it would cost $4.6-billion for Calgary to hold the 2026 Olympics. CBEC’s math supposed taxpayers would chip in $2.4-billion, with Ottawa picking up half of the tab. Calgary and the provincial government would need to pay the second half, based on CBEC’s budget. The Olympics, however, would end up $425-million in the red, even after folding in revenue from ticket sales and other resources, based on CBEC’s math.
Money has been a vital part of Calgary’s Olympic debate. Even the bureaucrats who requested for the extra money to finance the mining procedure notice that holding the Games could push Calgary close — or over — its debt limit. Olympic fans tout the economic benefits of the Games, pointing to CBEC’s conclusion that the Games would make an average of 3,000 new jobs annually over the nine years leading up to the event and boost gross domestic product throughout the nation by up to $3.1-billion. The favorable reports were made public this summer.
City staff, however, didn’t release two separate reports this spring it commissioned which were critical of the analysis on which CBEC based its projections. The Globe and Mail reported on the key reports on Nov. 17. Councillors received the complete documents that day after at least one politician asked the documents from town. On Monday, in response to criticism from councillors who believed that they were kept in the dark, Calgary administrators introduced the records publicly. Staff stated they briefed councillors on the contents of their reports.
Courtesy: The Globe And Mail