Former VANOC official thinks Calgary 2026 bid will go ahead

Ben Ronald / November 8, 2018

Calgary residents will vote in a plebiscite Tuesday on hosting the 2026 Winter Games

Calgarians will have their say in a non-binding vote on hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics on November 13th.

The Olympic bid will cost the city upwards of $390 million, a price-tag that detractors point to as too high. And, as the city itself points out, costs may come in over budget.

Despite the bid looking at times to be in jeopardy, a member of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Organizing Committee thinks that the Games will ultimately come to Alberta’s largest city.

“Throughout the whole process, more facts and more answers have come out, and with that greater transparency, then I think Calgarians feel more empowered to make an informed decision.” – Bill Cooper Director of Commercial Rights for Vancouver 2010

No matter how much transparency and planning go into bidding and hosting an Olympics, an Oxford University study in 2016 showed that every single Olympics since 1968 has experience cost-overruns, which makes the costs of hosting an Olympics much more variable than other mega-projects like dams and highways.

Calgary is no stranger to the hosting the Winter Games, as it did so in 1988, becoming the first Canadian city to host the Winter edition.

Though considered a relative success by the report in terms of cost-overruns, that city experienced a price tag 68% higher than what was anticipated.

With files from Graham Cox.