Stockholm’s 2026 Olympic Bid Vows To Carry On Amid Loss Of City Support

Stockholm’s bid for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games will continue to campaign, and remain a candidate in the race despite loss of support from the City’s new coalition government on Friday.

Stockholm investigating possible 2026 Olympic Winter Games bid (Wikipedia Photo)

Stockholm investigating possible 2026 Olympic Winter Games bid (Wikipedia Photo)

In a statement, the bid said it will refuse to back down after the coalition government partners denied funding for the project as part of a deal to form the government.

“We look forward to sharing our plans with the new coalition,” the statement read.

“The dialogue will being immediately, starting with a meeting and update for the Mayor-elect on all relevant information. Therefore, the campaign continues as before. But with an even greater focus on clarifying to the new coalition what Agenda 2020 really means.”

An IOC report published October 9 revealed a poll showing only 49 percent in Stockholm supported the bid with 25 percent opposed – a detail leveraged by the city when it made its decision.

Stockholm hosted Sweden’s only Summer Games in 1912.

“Today the new political majority in the Stockholm City Council under the leadership of the new Mayor-elect of the conservative party was presented.  The majority is a new coalition of parties, and their objective is to ensure that any tax payers funding is used appropriately and for the benefit of the City,” the statement read.

“Our plan is both financially prudent and socially responsible for all stakeholders – starting with our city and nation and including the Olympic Movement.

“Our bid is strong, our budget is strong, and it is 100% privately financed – no tax payer funds.  We believe this approach is tailor-made for the IOC’s new reality going forward.

Stockholm 2026 Winter Olympic Bid On Brink Of Collapse Due To Political Shuffle

“Stockholm 2026 will set new standards in every aspect of sustainability, not only for our Games, but for Winter Games thereafter.”

Along with Stockholm, only Calgary in Canada and an Italian joint bid from Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo remain in the rapidly dissolving competition to host the 2026 Games.  Three cites including Graz in Austria, Sion in Switzerland and Sapporo in Japan have already removed themselves from the running and Erzurum in Turkey was eliminated by the IOC after Seven cities submitted applications in April.

The remaining cities seem to be hanging by a thread, however, with Calgary to face a crucial plebiscite November 13 and the Italian bid requiring approvals and guaranteed funding ahead of a January 11 bid book deadline.

If Stockholm fails to change the minds of its City Council members by that bid book submission date, it too will have no choice but to finally end its campaign.

The IOC will elect the host city from any remaining candidates at an all-members Session to be held at the end of June in 2019 – a date recently moved up from September.

IOC President Thomas Bach said in an October press conference that there was no “plan b” covering a scenario with no remaining interested cities.  There has been speculation, however, that Salt Lake City in the United States could step in after the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) already offered a city to host in 2030.

Full Statement From Stockholm 2026

“Today the new political majority in the Stockholm City Council under the leadership of the new Mayor-elect of the conservative party was presented.  The majority is a new coalition of parties, and their objective is to ensure that any tax payers funding is used appropriately and for the benefit of the City.

Our plan is both financially prudent and socially responsible for all stakeholders – starting with our city and nation and including the Olympic Movement. Our bid is strong, our budget is strong, and it is 100% privately financed – no tax payer funds.  We believe this approach is tailor-made for the IOC’s new reality going forward.  Stockholm 2026 will set new standards in every aspect of sustainability, not only for our Games, but for Winter Games thereafter.

The Bid leadership just returned from the IOC Session in Buenos Aries, and the collective feedback about our bid and plan was extremely positive because it clearly represents a new way forward:  no waste, no surprises and no unneeded infrastructure development. The Games themselves are self-funded through IOC contributions and marketing revenues, and we will only build two new venues, the Speed Skating track and the Nordic ski venue. Both of these venues have lasting, sustainable legacies here in our winter sports nation. They are not investments only for the 2026 Games, they are investments in our youth for generations to come.

Our plan represents something new for Sweden and the IOC. It is a direct investment in Swedish youth through sport. Sweden is one of the most accomplished winter sports nations in Olympic history, yet we’ve never hosted a Winter Games. Our plan is also a fiscally conservative one, which can serve as a new model going forward.  And, Stockholm 2026 represents a return of the Winter Games to an enchanting, Scandinavian winter wonderland.

We look forward to sharing our plans with the new coalition.  The dialogue will being immediately, starting with a meeting and update for the Mayor-elect on all relevant information. Therefore, the campaign continues as before. But with an even greater focus on clarifying to the new coalition what Agenda 2020 really means.”

More to come…

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-nominated journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil

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