Should Queenstown Bid For 2026 Winter Olympics?

Bruce McGechan, a marketing consultant from Queenstown, New Zealand, who has had snow sports marketing experience, believes the resort should bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games because it’s shown through Winter Games NZ it can run “really good winter sports”.

He added, “but just as important as the sporting side, it provides such a huge economic benefit to NZ, mainly in the form of tourism, that to hold an Olympics, if the costs are controlled, is almost a no-brainer”.

McGechan believes no other major event would have better spinoffs for the country. He estimates if New Zealand hosted the event, it could benefit from $5.6 billion of tourism and International Olympic Committee (IOC) expenditure between 2026 and 2031. He said, “you have two billion people watching the Winter Olympics, 54,000 broadcast hours. One of the key things, if not the key thing, Tourism NZ does overseas is promote our incredible scenery”.

McGechan has completed a pre-feasibility study and hopes a full inquiry can be undertaken next year – most likely by the NZ Olympic Committee and Government funding Agency Sport NZ. If the study pans out, the NZOC would then lodge its full bid by 2018.

He added that Queenstown could team up with other venues. McGechan’s touting Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city.

He said each centre could host an athletes’ village, paid for by private developers, who could turn them into residential accommodation.

Auckland could host most of the five ice rinks costing $500 million, required for the ice hockey, curling, and speed and figure skating venues.

Local ski fields could accommodate alpine ski and snowboarding events, but downhill skiing would require a new course.