Do you or do you not want to spend money on the Olympics?
On November 13, Calgary voters will be asked a simple question. Do you want the 2026 Winter Olympics in town? Very simple and what is more, it is a non-binding vote so the results really don’t count. The politicians and business leaders will go about their business and see if they can really figure out a way that Calgary can invest a portion of the expenditure, $390 million Canadian of public money and get back $4 billion Canadian. That’s how the business of Olympics bidding works. Throw out some numbers and hope taxpayers buy into the rhetoric. There is nothing wrong with a sporting event what is wrong is the amount of money that it is allegedly going to cost and how those figures are never true. That is why cities are dropping out of the Olympics bidding. The International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach continues to refuse to believe that the cost of the Games caused people in Austria, Switzerland, Germany and other spots to say no to his organization’s two weeks sports affair and the two weeks of Paralympics competition. He thinks global warming is a problem for the Winter Games. Of course that doesn’t explain why so many cities have shunned the Summer Olympics and how the bidding process has gotten so bad for the IOC that they took the only live bids for the 2024 Summer Games and awarded Paris the 2024 Summer Olympics and Los Angeles the 2028 Summer Games.
The Calgary vote almost didn’t happen. On October 30, the Calgary bid was on life support because the Justin Trudeau government, the Alberta provincial government and Calgary government could not come to an agreement on Olympic bid funding. The initial assessment was that a Calgary bid would cost about $3 billion Canadian. Calgary elected officials and business leaders are battling an economic downturn, they think the Olympics will change that.