A decision Tuesday by the Canadian Federal government to commit CDN $5 million (USD $3.86 million) to support the Unified North American bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup won’t likely impact any decision by Ottawa on whether to provide financial support to Calgary’s 2026 Olympic bid.
Sixty of the football matches organized for the World Cup would be staged in the United States with 10 planned for Mexico, leaving only 10 matches to be contested across four cities in Canada – including Edmonton, Alberta’s provincial capital.
Calgary will not host a match.
The amount required of the Federal government to support the small share of the major FIFA event pales in comparison to the funds required for the Olympic Games – up to CDN $1.2 billion. Another $1.2 is asked from the province while the city will contribute up to $1 billion.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he expects confirmation on the governments Olympic funding ‘soon,’ and the city will make a final decision on whether to bid in June.
“Canada will not get a ton of [World Cup] matches,” Nenshi told Postmedia Tuesday.
“As a result, I think the capacity is absolutely there to do both big events in the same year if that’s what the feds choose to do.”
He said that Canada supported both the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games in the same year, without any issue.
There are no plans for new stadium construction as part of Canada’s World Cup bid, so costs will be kept low. Security spending will be the major component of both 2026 bids.
The Unified bid has only Morocco as a rival and FIFA is set to vote for a winner in June. The North American entry is heavily favoured to be named tournament hosts.
If Calgary’s Olympic bid is approved it will await formal acceptance by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in October with a final election in September 2019.
Sapporo, Sion, Stockholm and Graz in Austria have expressed interest in entering the Olympic bid race with Lillehammer and Turin or Milan other possible entries. Obstacles remain, however, ahead of each bid.