The Calgary Chamber of Commerce is throwing its support behind Calgary’s 2026 Olympic bid following the contentious city council debate on Wednesday.
In a news release Thursday, Chamber president and CEO Sandip Lalli said the organization is supporting the financial framework for the bid but is asking BidCo to allow the business community to help.
“If we can keep the bid financially modest and the vision bold, then the international platform the Games offers can grow commerce, bolster deal flow, enhance the reputation of Canada’s industries, and stimulate investment,” said Lalli in the release. “We commend the bid committee and all levels of government for getting a disciplined deal done. It’s time now to give the business community a further voice to drive the Calgary can-do vision forward.”
After consulting the business community, the chamber said they are putting forward “four guiding principles” that they said will help the bid move forward:
- Do not allow municipal costs to go higher than the $390 million announced in the funding agreement
- Keep to a modest venue infrastructure build
- Immediately bring businesses to the table to establish a business-friendly growth strategy for hosting the Games
- Use the Games to bolster the international image of investment potential in Canada and highlight the country’s innovation
WATCH: The Calgary Chamber of Commerce announced its endorsement of the renewed bid to host the 2026 Olympic Games. Global News’ Doug Vaessen talks to chamber CEO Sandip Lalli about why it’s backing the bid now.
Lalli added that bid supporters and the city have to keep an eye on the bid’s finances going forward, as the business community in Calgary has been dealing with a challenging economic environment over the past few years.
LISTEN: Calgary Chamber president & CEO Sandip Lalli joins Rob Breakenridge to discuss the Chamber’s position on the Olympic bid
“Hosting the Olympics is neither a solution for economic and social utopia nor a race to an economic doomsday,” she said. “However, concerns expressed by many in the business community impacted by a growing tax burden and layered regulatory costs are very real.”
Lalli said hosting the Olympics in Calgary would serve as a good “anchor” for their vision that the city “nourishes, powers and inspires the world.”