Overwhelming Public Support Revealed In IOC Poll Boosts Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympic Bid

Reporting From Milan, Italy – According to an International Olympic Committee (IOC) commissioned poll taken by  Publicis earlier this year, there is overwhelming support right across Italy for the Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympic Winter Games bid, with 87 percent in Milan voicing support.

The Duomo Di Milano in central Milan, April 5, 2019 (GamesBids Photo)

The Duomo Di Milano in central Milan, April 5, 2019 (GamesBids Photo)

Numbers were released by the IOC Saturday at the close of meetings being held among an evaluation team and bid organizers at the Palazzo Reale in Milan.  The results further reveal that 83 percent in Italy back the bid with support levels at 81 percent in Lombardy where Milan is capital and 80 percent in Cortina’s Veneto region.

Across the country only 4 percent disagreed when asked to validate the statement “I am in favour of Milan/Cortina hosting the Olympic Winter Games in 2026.”

Also compelling is the awareness among Italians – 77 percent said they knew about the Olympic bid, 64 percent indicated that they would buy tickets to an event and a further 43 percent said they would likely volunteer to hep during the Games.

Those who support the project point to the economic benefits, international promotion during the Games and increased tourism as reason for their interest.  The few who opposed the project blame the costs, lack of suitability for the bid cities, lack of interest in winter sport, or that the Games are unnecessary for Italy.

The survey was taken from February 7 to 19 among 2,515 respondents across Italy and 613 in Milan.

The numbers indicate that support has increased since last April when a survey showed support in Milan at 83 percent, Lombardy at 71 percent, Veneto at 82 percent and 81 percent across Italy.

IOC Evaluation Commission Chair Octavian Morariu said in his final remarks after the meeting “After our five days here, we can say that the overwhelming popular support demonstrated by the latest IOC poll is not a surprise.”

He added “It is clear for us that you can make dreams happen together.”

Italian Olympic Committee President Giovanni Malagò said that the strong poll results compels his organization to pursue the Games for Italy.

A similar survey by the same pollster taken to analyze the rival bid in Sweden indicated support levels for Stockholm-Åre were significantly lower with only 55 percent across the nation supporting the bid and 54 percent behind the project in Stockholm.

A Milano-Cortina 2026 Olympic bid promotional banner in Livigno, where snowboard and freestyle ski events are proposed (GamesBids Photo)

A Milano-Cortina 2026 Olympic bid promotional banner in Livigno, where snowboard and freestyle ski events are proposed (GamesBids Photo)

On Friday it was confirmed that Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a letter outlining his government’s full backing of the bid, including the underwriting of the security budget with 415 million euros (USD $466 million).

The letter was delivered by Undersecretary of State Giancarlo Giorgetti to International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission Chair Octavian Morariu at the Palazzo Reale in Milan.

The IOC wrapped up its evaluation visit Saturday in Milan after visiting sites in Cortina d’Ampezzi, Livigno, Bormio and points between.  The Commission is expected to publish a report May 24 with findings from its visits to Italy and Sweden, and a winner will be elected by the IOC Session June 24 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

GamesBids.com has been reporting from Italy this week bringing you on-site coverage of the important Evaluation Commission visit.  Follow us on Twitter @GamesBids or on Facebook to keep up with the bid.

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