More than 107,000 voters who turned out for Sunday’s referendum rejected Berne’s bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics. About 77.6 per cent voted against the stadium cash and 79.5 per cent were against the preparation costs.
Under Swiss law voters had the final say over allotting a further 5-million Swiss francs ($10.1 million U.S.) for an Olympic stadium and 7.5 million francs in new preparation costs.
According to a Berne 2010 press release, the Berne Executive Board will decide formally on the withdrawal of the Berne candidacy at the end of the week.
“Based on the signals from the majority of voters, it is however assumed that the candidature application now before the International Olympic Committee will be withdrawn”, says the press release.
The Berne 2010 committee blamed, “the poor economic climate and related caution in Canton Berne” (which) “may have had a great influence on the election results”.
Martin Hodler, head of the Berne Olympic organizing committee said, “we are disappointed, we are a bit sad”.
Franziska Teuscher, a Green party member of parliament, said she was thrilled by the vote because it shows “the people of Berne would rather take care of basic needs than have a luxury project for the year 2010”.
As a candidate city Berne has already paid $100,000 in fees and would have been required to pay an additional $500,000 in February or March to cover the costs of having an assessment of its venues.
There are now three cities in the race – Salzburg Austria, Vancouver Canada and Pyeongchang South Korea. GamesBids.com’s BidIndex for Berne will remain halted until the bid makes a formal announcement on their candidacy – likely this Friday.