On top of financial benefits, the proposed plan by the 2026 Bid Committee has outlined a variety of legacy projects that would improve existing facilities and bring additional recreational facilities that would be used beyond the Olympics.
Although new Facilities and financial gain may be the deciding factor for some, for others it might simply come down to nostalgia. Calgary was the host site for the 1988 Winter Olympics and that memory still pulls weight with those who experienced it. Bill Cooper, Chief Operating Partner of TTG Canada said:
“The memories of ’88 are still strong in Calgary. I think there is a lot of nervousness about where the Alberta economy should go next, but people feel they can go back to nostalgia to overcome those challenges that they feel they are in.”
On the other side of the coin, where some people see financial gains that come with the Olympics, many feel the games are a financial burden and are too expensive. The current proposal has a big portion of the cost to bring the games to Calgary being covered by taxpayers. Eugene Gritter, who has been vocal against the games said:
I don’t believe there is any lasting value created. I’d rather we find ways to get more ways to get competitive, rather than bloating up and creating an environment where taxes spiral even higher.
Others arguing against the cause believe that the proposals aren’t telling the whole story. An organization called No Calgary Olympics suggests that citizens are “not getting balanced, fulsome or credible information about the costs, risks and benefits of hosting the 2026 Olympics.”
On top of all this, others are pointing to things being different in this era of the Olympics and although 1988 was a success, people can’t expect the same 30 years later. One of these differences being suggested is incidents of corruption within the International Olympic Committee that is creating a landscape of mistrust.