Sion 2026 Meets Deadline And Submits Key Documents To Swiss Government

The Sion 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid committee Friday met an August 5 milestone and submitted detailed bid files to the Swiss Federal government and the cantons across the region supporting the project.

Sion, Switzerland could bid to host the 2026 Olympic Winter Games (Wikipedia photo)

Sion, Switzerland could bid to host the 2026 Olympic Winter Games (Wikipedia photo)

The documents included technical project details concerning things like venues, transportation and accommodation; operating budget details along with capital investment expectations; and a report on the potential legacy of hosting the Games in 2026.

Operating costs are budgeted at CHF 1.86 billion (USD $1.91 billion) including CHF 100 million (USD $102.9 million)to be allocated to an independent Olympic legacy foundation.  An infrastructure investment of CHF 93 million (USD $95.7 million) has also been budgeted for infrastructure investments required to host the Games.

Sion 2026 is expecting a CHF 1.35 billion (USD 1.39 billion) contribution from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) representing broadcast and sponsorship revenues, to help offset the costs.

On April 11 the Swiss Sport Parliament ratified Swiss Olympic’s decision to forward Sion to bid for the 2026 Games and now the Swiss Federal Office of Sport (FOSPO), its consultants and the various Federal services involved will review the project.

The Federal government is expected to rubber-stamp the study, sending the bid to the international stage – but the bid will face regional referendums next year which could block the project from moving forward.

Former Olympic host cities Innsbruck in Austria and Calgary in Canada are also seriously considering bids, however Calgary must first get approval from a skeptical City Council and Innsbruck will also face a referendum on October 15,

Swiss Olympic President Jürg Stahl (Wikipedia Photo)

Swiss Olympic President Jürg Stahl (Wikipedia Photo)

Jürg Stahl, President of Swiss Olympic and Vice-Chairman of the Sion 2026 Bid Committee said “we are taking another step forward and I am delighted with how the Sion 2026 bid and Swiss Olympic teams have worked together.”

“The result confirms that the dossier is viable and that we have a real chance of seeing a Swiss bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games making it onto the international stage.”

Jean-Philippe Rochat, Chairman of the Sion 2026 Bid Committee, said “the extremely comprehensive feasibility dossier that we have just submitted confirms not only that organizing the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Switzerland in 2026 is fully achievable but also that a project like this will give an amazing boost to efforts aimed at tackling the challenges that Switzerland will face in the near future.”

Last month the IOC committed to reforming the 2026 Winter Games bid process, and have delayed the application deadline until the Fall of 2018 and reduced the campaign length to one year.  Officials have said they will relax the rules and work with the bids to discover additional ways to cut costs and risks – potentially reducing the overall budget.

Sion 2026 and the Federal government agreed to report again in September.

The IOC is expected to elect the 2026 Games host city in 2019.

About Robert Livingstone

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.