Calgary, AB,

Calgary Bid Exploration Committee predicts $2.4 billion required in net funding

CALGARY -  In a presentation to Calgary City Council today, the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee (CBEC) provided an overview of the potential economic picture if Calgary were to bid for and win the right to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. CBEC estimates an overall funding requirement of $2.4 billion to supplement revenue from Games operations ($2.2 billion) to account for the full Games cost of $4.6 billion.

CBEC’s funding requirement is reduced by the ability to re-use existing venues, eliminating the need to build multiple new facilities in favour of upgrading the same infrastructure used in 1988.

“I am confident when I say that the Board and staff at CBEC have diligently reviewed all aspects of bidding and hosting a prospective 2026 Games, and the numbers we are sharing today accurately represent the current situation,” said Rick Hanson, CBEC Chair.

CBEC’s estimates show operating costs exceeding operating revenues by $425 million. There are multiple other financial considerations that a successful host city must consider including security, facilities construction and renovation, and Olympic accommodation although the operations budget is the largest single cost driver. Within its budget estimates, CBEC included a sizeable cost contingency ($450 million, including $235 million for operations) as well as $135 million in endowments for sport programming and to ensure sustainable facility operations post-Games.

“One of the things we identified from looking at some prior Olympic Games was the failure to account for post-Games operation and maintenance of facilities in their budgets,” said Hanson, “While this adds cost, our Board felt it was a necessary addition to a prospective budget.”

The Committee estimates the International Olympic Committee will contribute, on a net basis, approximately $700 million in cash to a prospective Games while another $820 million should be generated through domestic sponsorships. Ticket sales from Olympic and Paralympic events are estimated to produce $320 million.

The associated economic impacts, according to research undertaken by the Conference Board of Canada and Deloitte LLP, could range between $2.2 to $2.6 billion in contributions to the Gross Domestic Product including approximately $500 million in tax revenues spread through the three levels of government.

Over the next month, CBEC will continue to deliberate on its final recommendations and will integrate any new information from 2026 Candidature Guidelines that are anticipated in July from the IOC. The Committee will present its recommendations to the city on July 24th as scheduled.

* Note: All dollar figures listed in 2017 Canadian dollars