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

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Opinion: The Second Street development might be a problem – but it’s not council’s problem

Reporter Kate Saylors writes about the common misconception surrounding a BC Housing development.

What’s happening for Family Day in the Boundary

Activities in and around Grand Forks offer something for everyone.

Call a foul on cancer with the Pink Whistle Campaign

Local basketball referees are raising money for cancer research

Petition on Second Street project presented to council

Over 1,000 signatures were gathered, but staff say council can’t do much about the project.

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

Most Read