The absolute last thing on the minds of most people on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016 is the 2026 Winter Olympics which is of course nine years and 11 months away. But two Canadian cities and one American city could be making a bid as one entity two time zones apart simply because the cost of the Olympics is far too much of a burden for taxpayers to undertake.
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada and Lake Placid, New York, USA have seemingly kicked the tires about a joint 2026 presentation to the International Olympic Committee. This is not the first time the two areas which are not that close have looked into the possibility of combining as it was talked about two decades ago and nothing every came of it. But Calgary’s addition into the equation is interesting. Calgary business leaders want the 2026 Games, possibly as a catalyst to kick start the construction of a new arena and other sports facilities which is stalled at the moment. Apparently International Olympic Committee members know that the costs of the Olympics is scaring away many potential bidders. The IOC is open to a regional approach for Olympics although the Quebec City-Lake Placid-Calgary threesome is rather far flung but both Lake Placid and Calgary have existing facilities from the 1932 and 1980 Lake Placid Games and the 1988 Calgary Games. Of course paying for the Games may prove problematic as New York State still is paying for the 1980 Games and Calgary has no appetite at the moment to build an arena for the NHL Flames, a football stadium for the CFL’s Stampeders and a fieldhouse for public recreation. The bidding for the 2026 Olympics will start next year and the Games will be handed out in 2019 and the IOC will probably keep the local taxpayers have to pay for cost overruns clause in any contract and that has become a deal breaker.
Republished with permission Evan Weiner for The Politics of Sports Business.