Alberta: We want our Calgary 2026 Olympic bid money back
The provincial government of Alberta in Canada wants to receive a partial refund of the money it committed to support Calgary’s bid to host the 2026 winter Olympic Games, after the bid was aborted in November following an adverse referendum result.
A spokeswoman for Rachel Notley, Alberta’s premier, said that it had paid a total of C$7 million ($5 million) to support the bid, and that it would cover one-third of the actual costs of the truncated process.
An independent auditor is to scrutinise the bid corporation’s financial statements, and the spokeswoman said: “We hope to receive a partial refund over the next couple of months, and a final payment after the audit is finished in the spring.”
The city is still hoping to receive some of the money the federal government said that it would commit if the city was chosen to host the games.
In November, Naheed Nenshi, the city’s mayor, met with Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, to plead for some of the C$1.45 billion that the government had pledged for hosting the Olympics, to upgrade the city’s ageing sports facilities.
Both federal and provincial governments have previously said that their combined C$2.1-billion commitment was conditional on the city staging the Olympics.
Calgary’s withdrawal left Stockholm in Sweden and Milan/Cortina d’Ampezzo as the sole bidders to host the 2026 games, after Erzurum in Turkey was eliminated from the race.
The 2026 games will be awarded at the IOC Session in June.
For a Sportcal Insight opinion column on the implications of Calgary’s withdrawal from the bid race, click here.