It is all about the money.
It has been a good month for the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. He has been to North Korea and has a commitment from the country that it plans to compete in the 2020 and 2022 Olympics. But more importantly, Bach all of a sudden has a number of governments who want the 2026 Winter Olympics despite the fact that the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics was a financial disaster and there has been no final financial account from the recent South Korea games although every indicator suggests that the South Korea games was a fiscal calamity. Bach and his IOC colleagues may get Calgary, Alberta along with Turkey and Stockholm, Sweden into the 2026 race joining Switzerland. If that does happen, that will reverse the trend that has been plaguing the IOC of cities and countries not bidding for the Games because local taxpayers don’t want to put up money for a two week sports pageant.
While Calgary officials want to be in bidding for the Olympics, funding may be a problem. There will be a vote in Calgary on August 10 where the locals will decide if they want to put up money for the event that would be at that point about seven and a half years down the road. Ottawa politicians along with provincial lawmakers claim they will help fund the event if voters say yes. Calgary voters didn’t seem too interested in funding a less costly project a new arena for the NHL Flames during last year’s mayor election. Canadians are also being asked to put up money for the 2026 World Cup should the US-Canada and Mexico win the right to host that international event. Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton could host soccer matches. Bach has lost Norway as a 2026 bidder but Switzerland is all in and others may join the race. Bach has had a good roll as of late.
Thomas Bach has had a good month.