In sports there is an old saying, if at first you don’t succeed at building a new facility or landing the Olympics, try try again. As cities and countries scramble to put together a proposal for the 2026 Winter Olympics, this is quite evident. Switzerland and Germany may be back in the hunt despite the fact that voters in Switzerland and Germany both said no to the 2022 Winter Olympics and Hamburg, Germany dropped out of the bidding for the 2024 Summer Games. Elections should have consequences but they don’t in sports.
Lake Placid and upstate New York are going after the 2026 Winter Olympics despite the fact the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games lost millions of dollars and New York State had to bail out the organizers. New York State through various governmental tools still runs many of the 1980 Lake Placid facilities which means New York State residents continue to pay for an event that ended about 36 years and three weeks ago. Switzerland plans on spending the rest of 2016 refining a bid and jump into the race in 2017. In 2013 voters said no to a St. Moritz and Davos 2022 Winter Olympics. Lake Placid might get competition from not only Switzerland and Dresden, Germany but Trento, Italy, Stockholm, Sweden, Quebec City and Calgary both in Canada and Sapporo, Japan all might throw their hats in the ring. Stockholm was another city that dropped a bid for 2022 Games after the Swedish capital’s city council refused to provide Swedish Kronas to back the bid. Swedish organizers thought they could throw a Winter Olympics for about $1.5 billion US. The Swiss 2026 bid committee feels it needs to upgrade the country’s sports facilities for business reasons, specifically tourism. The spending on the Olympics is generally a bottomless pit but it seems some country is always willing to throw billions away on a mega event.
Republished with permission, Evan Weiner for The Politics of Sports Business