More cash needed to keep Calgary's 2026 Olympic efforts rolling
$2M needed for pre-bid work if city council wants to pursue Games
By Scott Dippel , CBC News Posted: Nov 13, 2017 5:30 AM MT Last Updated: Nov 13, 2017 5:46 AM MT
Scott Dippel has been at CBC News for more than two decades across four provinces. His roles have included legislative reporter, news reader, assignment editor and national reporter. When not at Calgary's City Hall, it's still all politics, all the time.
More money will be needed to keep Calgary's 2026 Olympic dreams afloat and council will learn more about the road map to a possible bid at Monday's meeting.
In a report, administration states that some changes in the International Olympic Committee's processes will affect the city's workplan in 2018.
The biggest change is that the IOC wants interested cities to submit their bid book by January 2019.
That means the book has to be finished by late 2018 and Calgary isn't at that stage yet.
Another Calgary games feasible but ...
The Calgary Bid Exploration Committee concluded that a bid for the 2026 winter Olympics is feasible but there are financial concerns and questions about whether it would be prudent.
City council directed administration not to move forward unless five key principles could be satisfied.
They include sorting out financing, ensuring other levels of government pay for security, reaching a new funding arrangement with the IOC, finding financial room at the city and an acceptable host city contract.
Administration wants $2 million to continue with the preparation work for a possible bid.
It's also sounding the warning that forming a bid corporation to go after the games could cost $25-30 million.
Coun. Shane Keating said he's willing to have the conversation about the costs of preparing for a possible bid.
"If we're going to consider it and possibly consider it in the future, you may want to do a little bit of work now so it actually looks like we're ready and we may be seriously considered," Keating said.
Not everyone on council wants to continue
Other councillors aren't keen as the cost of staying in the game seem to only go higher.
Coun. Druh Farrell is opposed to any further work on the project, citing her concerns with the city lacking the ability to take on the cost of such a mega-project.
"Decisions are made incrementally and at the end of the day, council's been led to a 'Yes' and I don't want that to happen here," said Farrell.
Coun. Sean Chu is another skeptic. Given the state of the economy, he doesn't see any money available for an Olympic bid.
"$25 million in this economy? That's a lot of money," said Chu.
"How many property tax increases do people want? I don't think any."
Off-ramps are still reachable
After this week's update on the Olympic timetable, a formal ask for an additional $2 million is expected to come to city council on Nov. 20.
If the city is interested in bidding, a bid corporation would have to be formed early in 2018.
The administration report states that is a logical place to end the pursuit of the games if council doesn't wish to continue.
The next off-ramp would be after the IOC provides information on the host city contract. If the city's concerns aren't addressed in that document, the report states that's another checkpoint where council could pull the plug.
If Calgary decides to go after the 2026 Olympics, the IOC is expecting bids from interested cities to be submitted by January 2019.Articled from the CBC RSS Syndication CBC.ca - RSS Feeds Copyright is that of their respective owners (CBC) Calgary News Releases
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