Calgary 2026 Olympic funding proposal agreed to by federal, provincial governments: BidCo
The Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation (BidCo) says the federal government and the Government of Alberta have signed an agreement to consider an Olympic funding proposal.
The proposal was released late Tuesday night and marks the first time the feds have signed an official agreement and the first time the City of Calgary has put forward a number publicly.
BidCo’s new public funding request totals $2.875 billion.
In the proposal, the City of Calgary would contribute $370 million in cash, $150 million in pre-authorized Victoria Park and Stampede access improvements, and an insurance redemption amount of $200 million to cover a “defined contingency.”
BidCo said the drop to $2.875 billion from $3 billion is due to a reduction in security costs, a smaller workforce, and removing the bus barn issue.
LISTEN: UofC economics professor Trevor Tombe joins Rob Breakenridge to discuss Tuesday’s Olympic funding proposal
The total cost for the Calgary 2026 Olympic bid now sits at $5 billion.
The Government of Alberta is sticking to its original offer of $700 million.
WATCH: PM Trudeau said he supports the Calgary bid, now it’s in the hands of Calgarians
The federal government would provide $1.423 billion, matching financial commitments to event costs made by the province, the City of Calgary and the Town of Canmore.
WATCH: Calgary Councillor Sean Chu says he doesn’t believe the new funding numbers related to a Calgary Olympic Bid are feasible.
A letter that BidCo sent to the premier, the feds and to Calgary’s mayor also mentioned $30 million in “leveraging initiatives” that have been identified in the hosting plan.
BidCo said the funding proposal strikes the right balance of money from all levels of government and means strong investment that would allow Calgary to benefit from new infrastructure.
“This is a proposal that makes sense and is a good deal for Calgarians,” said BidCo board chair Scott Hutcheson in a press release. “I’m confident we and our government partners can agree to move forward and reach an agreement in principle.
“I know city council understands how important this is to Calgary, that they know what’s at stake here, and that they will show their strong leadership and allow Calgarians to decide the outcome of the Olympic and Paralympic bid at a plebiscite Nov. 13. These will be Canada’s Games, Calgary’s choice.”
WATCH: Calgary Councillor Jeremy Farkas speaks to media about the emotions that are running high over the possible Olympic bid at city hall.
Reaction started to roll in from city councillors after the announcement.
“I’m very pleased citizens will have a deal to consider when they head to the polls,” said Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra.
“Now that we finally have this in writing — and I think it’s a reasonable deal — we need Calgarians to be able to vote [in the plebiscite],” said Ward 13 Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart. “When you see the number [the feds] are committing to — the $1.423 billion — without all those other strings attached, and you look at the $30 million they’ll also put in to leverage other initiatives in the hosting plan, these things are new.”
WATCH: BidCo presented a new Olympic bid agreement late Tuesday night. Global News Morning Calgary’s Doug Vaessen talks with Ward 8 Councillor Evan Woolley.
“I have serious concerns,” said Ward 11 Coun. Jeromy Farkas. “I need to know how the budget has been cut so substantially to make the numbers work. If it’s reduction from security, we are moving into reckless territory to continue.”
“I’m going to vote in supporting recommending to end the bid,” said Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu. “We have been promised so many times we’d get everything in 30 days and there’s no coverage on overspending, Calgarians have to pick it up. There’s other things we’ve been promised and not coming through. This is fancy creative accounting I disagree with.”
Yes Calgary 2026 is stoked with the late-night development.
“The Bid Corporation has far exceeded expectations,” said Jason Ribeiro with the pro-Olympic group. “We would be so short-sighted to pass this up. They have come up with something I didn’t even imagine was possible.”
On Wednesday, council is expected to vote on whether to continue the bid to host the 2026 Paralympic and Olympic Games.
WATCH: The federal and provincial governments agreed to consider a funding proposal for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games. BidCo’s new funding request totals $2.875 billion. Global News Calgary talks to Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart and political scientist Duane Bratt.
–With files from Adam MacVicar
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