Calgary 2026 Exploration Committee To Release Report Monday

The Calgary Bid Exploration Committee (CBEC), an organization set up to provide a feasibility study to determine whether the Canadian city should bid to host its second Olympic Winter Games in 2026, will release an interim report on Monday.

Calgary last hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1988

Calgary last hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1988

The report will be a partial draft of the final document set to be delivered in July before the city, along with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), determine whether to forward a formal bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host for the first time since 1988.

The exploration committee that was set up last September with a CDN $4.7 million budget is divided into five subcommittees including master facilities planning, public engagement and community impact, government and stakeholder relations, security and risk and finance and investment.

A statement by the city of Calgary cautioned that “as this report is an interim draft, not all sections have been fully developed and conclusions are still being determined.”

The committee led by former police chief Rick Hanson is composed of 17 members including Olympians, a former IOC member and other notable sports, art and culture representatives.

According to a brief released Friday of the work done so far, the CBEC has considered the 1988 legacy in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Agenda 2020 bidding guidelines to develop a master facilities plan for the project.

The committee has also engaged the public with telephone surveys, online feedback forms and interviews with stakeholder groups to gauge support and determine interest in hosting the Games.  The group will also develop a business case and operations budget that would be used should Calgary bid and be elected to host the Games.

On Friday the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) indicated that Canadian officials were pursuing a bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.  Among the cities that have been reported as interested are Toronto, and possibly a joint Edmonton and Calgary entry.  The Canadian Commonwealth Games Association (CGA) is seeking government support for the project but it will be unlikely that the Province of Alberta and the Federal Government will underwrite both the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics in the same year.  The CGF is expected to pick its 2026 host in early autumn.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi

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.  Earlier this week Stockholm’s Mayor said the city would end plans to pursue a bid because the IOC’s financial contribution was not yet disclosed.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Wednesday that although Stockholm’s concerns were legitimate, the Swedish Capital’s change in plans had no impact on his city’s work.

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 is expected to elect a winning 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.