Support for Calgary’s 2026 Olympic Winter Games bid is dropping, a survey released by CBC on Tuesday has confirmed.
Results gathered by Janet Brown Opinion Research revealed 50 per cent across Calgary support the bid with 44 per cent opposed – that’s a drop of 7 per cent from a similar poll taken in March.
The down-tick will be of concern to bid proponents and the newly appointed board of the Calgary 2026 Olympic bid committee as they prepare ahead of a planned November plebiscite that politicians assure will determine the fate of the project that vies to bring the Games back to Canadian city for the second time.
The random survey of 900 Albertans was conducted between June 12 and June 19 and with a statistical margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Across the province 55 per cent are supportive of the bid with 36 per cent opposed and in the provincial capital Edmonton 60 per cent said they were in favour with 29 per cent against plans.
The survey also revealed that young people in Calgary who were not alive for the 1988 Games in the city were far more likely to favour the Games, with 65 per cent among 18 to 24-year-olds in support.
Last week campaigns representing ‘yes’ and ‘no’ sides sprung to action, both describing themselves as grassroots organizations. The “No Calgary Olympics” group say that the timing isn’t right while the city faces other financial issues. A “Yes Calgary 2026” group operates under the slogan “Our Games. Our Time.”
They will plead their cases to Calgary constituents as the city rolls out a public consultation program and fine-tunes the plebiscite question.
Last year the city estimated the Games would cost CAD $4.6 billion (USD $3.5 billion), but that number is expected to be revised before the plebiscite and ahead of the bid book submission tot he International Olympic Committee (IOC) in January. On Monday the IOC released the host city contract that is said to include cost-cutting measure that could reduce the price of hosting the Games by USD $500 million.
The IOC also promised to contribute USD $925 million of broadcast and sponsorship revenue to the winning city’s operational budget.
On Monday a bid from Graz in Austria learned that it will need to face a referendum in September before it can move forward. Other bidders include Erzurum in Turkey, Sapporo in Japan, Stockholm is Sweden and either Cortina d’Ampezzo, Milan or Turin in Italy.
The IOC will elect a winner in September 2019.