Jacek Majchrowski, Mayor of Krakow, told a press conference Monday that he will seek a referendum on whether the city should host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
He said that he is confident that Krakow’s bid will be backed by the public. Earlier he had reportedly played down the need for one.
The mayor said, “personally, I’m convinced that the organization of the Winter Olympics would be an important step for the development of our city and region. Surveys carried out a few months ago showed that there is support for the idea (of hosting the Games). But in such an important matter, that’s not enough, which is why I am calling on the city council to hold a referendum. Some thirty percent of the city’s inhabitants would have to take part for the result to be valid”.
As far as costs for staging the Games are concerned, Majchrowski stressed that “this is not Krakow acting on its own”.
A recent poll suggested that 66% in Krakow support the bid.
The application files states that under Polish law a referendum is not required. However, a referendum may be initiated by local authorities or by the request of citizens with proof of support by at least 10% of voters.
For a referendum to be successful, there must be a minumum turnout of 30% and a majority vote of support.
Should Krakow host the Games, some of the events would be held in the Tatra Mountains in both Poland’s Zakopane and Slovakia’s Jasna. The mayor said that besides Krakow, funding would be provided by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Polish state treasury and regional authorities on both sides of the Tatras. Majchrowski acknowledged that Krakow is also “counting on sponsors”.
Magdalena Sroka, Deputy Mayor of Krakow, estimated that the entire cost of preparing for and hosting the Games could reach 6 billion zloty (1.4 billion euro). She also forecast that 1.1 billion zloty (262 million euro) would have to be invested in sports facilities.