Calgary city council expected to delay decision on Olympic bid: Naheed Nenshi
Calgary’s Olympic bid exploration committee is due in front of city council again on Monday. It was expected that, after the presentation, council would decide whether to move forward with a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games.
However, following a recent move by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Mayor Naheed Nenshi feels a delay in the decision is likely.
“I suspect what will happen is, given that the IOC has extended their timing, it will be very, very difficult for council to make a final ‘yes’ decision before we see the IOC’s bid city contract,” Nenshi said.
Originally, bids were due in the fall. The IOC, earlier this year, extended the timeline, so the city doesn’t have to declare its intentions for another year. Unless the host city contract changes, though, the mayor thinks it will be difficult for any city to agree to make a bid.
“I’m not a big fan,” he said. “If we’re going to spend that kind of money, we have to ensure that we’ve got good legacy projects in place and also we have to recognize that if the IOC is making a bunch of money off of international sponsorships and international media deals, then the host cities can’t be stuck with any operating deficit.”
Nenshi is confident the IOC understands the need for contract changes.
“It’ll be a matter of figuring out, as I’ve always said, whether it’s the right thing to do for Calgary. And whether it’s the right thing to do for Calgary right now.”
The IOC will announce the host city for the 2026 Winter Olympics in September 2019.
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