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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

North Island community groups are adapting due to COVID-19

‘The coronavirus and its effects make this a challenging time for us all’

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Funding has been denied for Port Hardy’s much anticipated Multiplex Pool Project

‘reviewing alternatives and opportunities in the coming months to address the aging infrastructure’

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Speed, alcohol not ruled out as factors in crash that left one person dead

Police watchdog, Campbell River Major Crimes Unit are investigating

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

Most Read