Hey Calgary, don’t submit a hosting bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics.
The Games are expected to cost $5.23 billion, with $3 billion coming from federal, provincial and municipal taxpayers. The 2010 Olympics in Vancouver cost about $2.5 billion more, partly because B.C. needed numerous facilities constructed as it complied with International Olympic Committee demands.
There are plans for a few new facilities around Calgary, specifically mid-sized arenas for short-track speed skating, figure skating and hockey. New housing may also be constructed. But there won’t be a new football stadium or a large hockey arena. Calgary needs both.
The Olympics traditionally leave a legacy of sports facilities. That didn’t happen to expensive sites which weren’t used and fell quickly into disrepair after the Games in Beijing, Sochi and Rio de Janeiro. Those cities could have saved billions by not bowing down to the IOC. Calgary played by IOC rules for the 1988 Winter Olympics but evidently didn’t learn anything.