New Study Claims A Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics Will Boost Italy’s GDP

A new study released Thursday by La Sapienza University in Rome claims Italy’s economy will grow should the nation host the Olympic Games in 2026.

Arianna Fontana was flag bearer for Italy at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. The short track speed skater has won eight Olympic medals, including one gold (Fontana/Twitter)

Commissioned by the government to address the Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics bid, the study noted that the Games “will contribute positively to the growth of the economy.” according to ANSA.

The resulting report concluded that any funds expended to finance the Olympic Games would be more than offset by direct and indirect revenues expected to be received from Winter Games activities.

The study said that should Italy be chosen to host the Games when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) votes for a winner June 24 in Lausanne, Switzerland – GDP is expected to increase between 81 and 93 million euros annually from 2020 to 2028.  Accumulated grown could reach 2.3 billion euros in 2028.

The encouraging study was unveiled at the Prime Minister’s residence Palazzo Chigi in Rome and the event was attended by undersecretary to the President with responsibility for sport Giancarlo Giorgetti, Italian Olympic Committee President Giovanni Malagò, Lombardy Governor Attilio Fontana, Councilor for the State of Veneto Cristiano Corazzari, Cortina Mayor Gianpietro Ghedina and Milan Sport Minister Roberta Guaineri.

The Milan-Cortina 2026 bid is based on plans to utilize mostly existing or temporary venues.  The sliding track and an arena in Cortina will require major renovations, and accommodations for the Olympic Village will be constructed in Milan that will later be used for student housing.

The Games model, based on the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, focuses on efficiency and sustainability to mitigate the risk of cost overruns.

The Games budget has been estimated at USD $1.55 billion in 2018, and the bid committee estimates there will be a small surplus after revenues from merchandise, tickets, sponsors and broadcast rights are accounted for.  The IOC will contribute cash and in-kind services valued at USD $925 million.

Last year the Italian government said it would not provide financial support for the Olympics, but the IOC will still require guarantees for security, visa considerations and other essential services that could result in public costs.

Earlier this month it seemed Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella was warming up to the bid when he said the Games “…are of great importance, not only for the two leading cities but for the whole of Italy,” adding “I assure all the support and backing possible.”

Italian President Pledges Support For Milan-Cortina 2026 Throwing Shade On Rival Swedish Olympic Bid

A deadline to provide government assurance passed January 11, but IOC officials granted an extension until April 12 after both Italy, and rival Stockholm-Åre in Sweden failed to provide what was necessary.

On Tuesday Cortina Mayor Ghedina said according to SportFair “the meeting [at Palazzo Chigi] was very positive and probably in the next few days, even in the next session of the Council of Ministers, there will be full support for the candidacy.”

“We go out very happy and satisfied.”

Sweden’s Minister of Sport last week promised that her government would announce a decision on whether-or-not to support the Games before the April deadline.

Last week from Sweden IOC Executive Directory Christophe Dubi said that if everything isn’t in place by the new deadline, bids could still be given right up until election day in June to come up with the required paperwork.

After inspecting Sweden’s bid last week, the IOC Evaluation Commission led by Octavian Morariu will travel to Italy from April 1 to April 6 to tour venues, review the bid book and prepare an evaluation report to be published in late May.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil