How much would the 2026 Winter Olympics cost each Calgary household?

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How much would the 2026 Calgary Olympics cost each household?
WATCH: Some new numbers are out about Calgary's proposed 2026 Olympic Games. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation crunched the numbers on how much it says it will cost each Calgary household. Lauren Pullen reports – Oct 17, 2018

How much will the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games cost taxpayers if they come to Calgary?

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) says that magic number is at least $2,000 per Calgary household.

“This doesn’t include any cost overruns, any interest payments,” CTF Alberta director Franco Terrazzano said.

“It doesn’t include any other costs that may be hidden below the table and it also doesn’t include any cost to actually attend the events.”

The cost estimate also assumes the federal government puts in its maximum contribution of $1.5 billion.

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So it’s safe to say the $2,000 number could easily be much higher, according to the CTF.

But a spokesperson with the Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation (BidCo) wants Calgarians to take the CTF projections with a grain of salt.

“Numerous sources continue to splice the numbers,” BidCo’s Ruth Anne Beck said in a statement to Global News Thursday. “It doesn’t matter how the numbers are broken down at this point because we still need to hear from the City of Calgary and the federal government to accurately forecast potential costs.”

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Beck also had a message for Calgarians.

“The Olympic Games are the best opportunity we have in front of us. What Calgarians need to understand is that this is not about a choice about how to spend existing tax dollars — on the Olympics versus other pressing needs in this city.

“If the Games are not held in Calgary, there will not be an additional $4.4-billion injection into Calgary’s economy,”she said.

“There will be no money to spend on projects that have lingered on the drawing boards for decades or for affordable housing to be built.”

Beck said BidCo has done more research and detailed budgeting than is usually required at this point in the bidding process.

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“The budget, which was created by 30 subject matter experts, is very conservative and has been reviewed by independent professional accounting firms. Our current estimate is $230 per year/per household spread over seven years, depending on what we hear from the City of Calgary and the federal government”

She added that since 85 per cent of the venues that would be needed for Calgary to host the Games in 2026 are already built, the event would not get caught up in massive cost overruns.

“These high pricetag investments are just not needed for us to host the Olympics. That’s why this a good deal for Calgary.”

How did the CTF come up with this number?

“The CTF took all of the taxes Calgarians will have to pay — the federal portion, the provincial portion and the municipal commitment — and divided it by the number of households in Calgary,” Terrazzano said.

Depending on how close the Games stick to budget, Calgarians could be on the hook for a whole lot more, according to this analysis.

“If cost overruns are the same as Calgary’s were in 1988, the household will be paying $6,000.

“If cost overruns are the same as the average for the Winter Olympics, then households will be paying $11,000 each,” Terrazzano said.

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READ MORE: A roadmap to Calgary hosting the 2026 Olympics

The taxpayers’ federation has made its stance on the Olympics pretty clear.

“There just is no money for this at all levels of government. All levels of government are broke.”

Want to take a deeper look at the CTF’s analysis? Click here.

Calgarians hit the polls for the Olympic plebiscite on Nov. 13.

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