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

Donations pouring in for injured Fernie man

GoFundMe page for Rick Kennedy reaches $17,639

Fernie’s Sam Goodison representing Alberta at Canada Winter Games

Fernie’s Sam Goodison will be representing Alberta at the upcoming Canada Winter… Continue reading

RDEK takes steps towards reducing carcass pit use

The first step towards addressing the issue of carcass pits in the… Continue reading

Ghostriders head coach Jeff Wagner commits to another two years

Fernie Ghostriders head coach Jeff Wagner has committed to another two years… Continue reading

Fernie affordable housing project starting to take shape

Fernie Family Housing Society reveals project design; aims to start construction in September

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Local skier bound for Canada Winter Games

A total of 251 athletes from around B.C. will represent the province… Continue reading

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

No Center of Gravity festival in Kelowna this summer: organizers

COG organizers said the hope is to return to the Okanagan in 2020

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Most Read