Calgary 2026 Olympics backers could see the bid end as early as August 12.
The financial details about the cost of holding the 2026 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta was released and it was not encouraging for the local group’s hopes of bringing the event back to Calgary. An advisory group has issued a major warning that Calgary may not get much needed loonies from Ottawa if a combined United States-Canada-Mexico bid gets the 2026 soccer World Cup. All World Cup bids are due by August 11 and it appears that the US-Canada-Mexico bid will be the only one submitted as neither European nor Asian countries are allowed to bid for the 2026 event. There are no bids from South American or African countries. Calgary 2026 Olympics backers will get a very clear picture of the landscape on August 11 and it does not look good financially if the US-Canada-Mexico World Cup group is the only applicant.
The Canadian advisory group has warned that Calgary may not be able to secure $1.2 billion loonies in taxpayers’ assistance if the North American World Cup bid is accepted. There is just so much taxpayers’ money that can go into sports and the Canadian dollars Calgary backers want may instead go to the World Cup group. The Calgary games are estimated to have a $4.6 billion price tag with more than half of that cost, $2.4 billion to be picked up by taxpayers. It is estimated that Calgary needs $391 million loonies to build or renovate facilities needed for an Olympics. The Canadian dollar has been struggling. Alberta has had major financial problems with the collapse of oil prices. The Calgary Olympic backers think some of Calgary’s bill would be paid off by Canadian sponsors, about $820 million from that group, and another $320 million in ticket sales. The advisory group thinks a Calgary Olympics could run up a $425 million in debt. That last number might end Calgary’s bid.
Canada cannot afford an Olympics and soccer World Cup in the same year.