About two-thirds of Calgarians support the city’s bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a new survey from the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee (CBEC) revealed Tuesday.
The CBEC survey was completed with nearly 2,000 respondents by telephone and online and was conducted from March 6 to 19, 2017, by Stone-Olafson, the group’s official research partner.
When asked whether they support or oppose the bid, based on anything they’d seen, read or heard, 33 per cent of telephone and 31 per cent of online respondents in the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) stated they support the bid, while 35 per of telephone and 30 per cent of online respondents said they strongly support the Olympic bid.
Approximately one in six were neutral and one in five were opposed. Banff, where ski events would be staged, showed nearly 80 per cent support.
“There is tremendous value in not only gathering, but truly understanding, the opinions of Calgarians and area residents,” Rick Hanson, Chair of the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee said.
“As a Committee, we are invested in putting Calgary’s vision first. This means looking into every opportunity and concern identified by citizens during the bid exploration process,”
Overall, 69 per cent of Calgarians said they would be proud to submit a bid for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.
The strong results will be good news for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as well while the organization struggles with low public support and the resulting lack of bidders. Four of six bids for the 2022 Winter Games ended before the vote for various reasons, but mostly due to public push-back over fears of costs and risks. For the 2024 Summer Games bids now being contested between Los Angeles and Paris, four cities have pulled out due to cost concerns.
Calgary last hosted the Winter Games in 1988, Canada last staged the event in Vancouver in 2010.
Sion, Switzerland is the only city to have received an official nomination from its National Olympic Committee to bid for the 2026 Games when the IOC begins to collect applications early in 2018. Last week Stockholm’s Mayor said the city would end plans to pursue a bid because the IOC’s financial contribution was not yet disclosed.
Former Olympic hosts Innsbruck, Lillehammer and Sapporo have also been investigating possible bids as well as Erzurum in Turkey and 2022 runner-up Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The IOC will accept applications to host the Games early in 2018 and will elect a host city in 2019.