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Calgary's Potential 2026 Winter Olympic Bid

Are you in favour of Calgary's Potential Olympic Bid in 2026?

  • Yes

    Votes: 28 60.9%
  • No

    Votes: 12 26.1%
  • Unsure

    Votes: 6 13.0%

  • Total voters
    46

Oddball

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It was hard to find a place for this one, and since it touches on just about every potential topic (buidling, transport, urban life, politics), general seemed like the way to go. I think most of us last heard about this back in October, but it seems like the issue of the bid will soon be before council. The whole thing could become moot if council opts not to endorse a bid.

Personally, I'm mostly in favour. I can't say I'm fond of the increased municipal tax levy that would come with the games. We're getting hammered these days as it is. Otherwise, I'm pretty gung-ho.

I wasn't quite a year old when Calgary last had the Olympics in 1988. I did attend the games in Vancouver 2010 though. It was an amazing experience. I'd love to see that recaptured here at home. On top of the atmosphere, bidding for the games has potential bearing on a number of existing major projects that I'd like to see through to fruition, a new hockey arena, upgrades or reconstruction for McMahon, the ring road, the Greenline and even potentially an airport spur line. The province isn't in the best position, but I'm might be nice to get some of those shy federal dollars to come our way while times are tough.

It would also mean new investments for some our city's excellent but overlooked institutions. I think primarily of the the Olympic Oval. It is still a world class venue, but it would definitely be in need of an upgrade were Calgary to host the Games again. The now essentially decomissioned ski jumps would also get a new lease on life. They'd need to come up with an innovative solution for the wind, but perhaps we'd see more use out of them in the future if they're successful. Maybe we'd also get something that can become a symbol of the city like the lines of the Stephen Avenue wind disbursing "Trees." Other facilities which would stand to benefit are Lake Louise, Kananaskis Village and Nakiska, Highways 1 and 40, the Canmore Nordic Centre, Winsport, the airport, and Olympic Plaza.

More broadly, there is the potential for less discussed benefits like investments in all the surrounding ski hills and other amenities to capitalize on the tourist influx. Maybe even my dreamed of regional train would get a serious look. There'd also likely be a wave of investment in Calgary's arenas and potentially see to the construction entirely new facilities.

As it stands, the selection won't be until 2019, so that's a ways off. It also looks like there are considerably more interested cities compared to the 2022 Winter Olympics which essentially saw the Games dumped on Beijing with a shrug. The 2024 Summer Olympic bids could have big impact. Especially if Los Angeles wins. If Calgary isn't successfull with a 2026 bid, I hope they're willing to give it another shot in 2030. Either way, chances aren't the best, but it is fun to dream. :)
 

Surrealplaces

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Not to date myself here, but I was a 22 when the Olympics were on in Calgary. It was totally awesome, so definitely count me in. :):):)
 

someMidTowner

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Very interesting. How much of a financial edge would the existing 1988 venues give Calgary over other bids?
 

Oddball

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That's a good question. One that I expect should be answered more conclusively by the exploratory study just approved by the city. I suppose it matter's who we'd be up against and what facilities already exist there. According to the universe's most reliable source, Wikipedia, Calgary can expect competing bids from Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway and Ukraine from Europe, the United states, Chile and Argentina in the Americas and Kazakhstan and Japan in Asia. It seems like there is going to be considerably more interest in hosting 2026 than 2022.

Lots of the proposed cities have hosted the games before (including 3 of the last 4 hosts prior to Calgary). The proposed games in South America would probably have to be city building projects on the scale of Sochi even, becuase the infrastructure effectively doesn't exist. Asia is pretty much out of the question. The 2018 (South Korea), 2020 (Japan) and 2022 (China) Games are all going to the region. So Calgary's stiffest competition is likely to come from European or American cities. The winner of the 2024 Summer Games could have bearing on that as well. 3 of the four remaining candidate cities, Budapest, Rome and Paris, are European and the remaining one, Los Angeles, is American. Should a European win, it probably gives an edge to an American city and vice versa.

Calgary is the most recent of any of the repeat hosts and in most cases probably still has the most modern facilities. Winsport, which is one of the primary legacies of the '88 Games, and Hockey Canada, also head quartered in Calgary, pretty much make Calgary the home base for Canada's Olympic training. Calgary is often named one of the top sporting cities in the world. This year is was ranked 6th overall and 2nd among small cities. It has lead the small city ranking in the past. That doesn't mean we would need new venues or to refurbish old ones, the advantage would be that it would be potentially less so that other cities. Calgary also provides balance in that it is one of the larger cities mustering a bid for the Olympics. It has infrastructure and accomodation than say a place like Innsbruck or Lake Placid. For comparison, Denver, which may be the largest city bidding, would probably have even better infrastructure, but has no bosleigh track, no speedskating oval and no ski jump.

I don't think anyone questions the idea that the 2026 Winter Olympics in Calgary would cost billions, but Calgary is well positioned to host a relatively cost effective games. Does that mean anything to the IOC though?
 
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Oddball

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http://calgaryherald.com/news/local...y-shine-as-an-olympic-host-city-again-in-2026

There's some really interesting stuff in this Herald article. Apparently following Oslo's withdrawl from the 2022 Winter Olympic bidding process (a tragedy, I so would have gone to that), the IOC decided to reevaluate their philosophy with a document called Agenda 2020. Which contained 95 th... I mean 40 recommendaitons to make for better and more attainable games in the future.

Key to Calgary's bid seems to be Recommendation 1.2: "The IOC to actively promote the maximum use of existing facilities and the use of temporary and demountable venues."

According to the article the IOC thinks very highly of Calgary and even asked if Calgary would be put forward as a bid city. Surprisingly promising stuff. And more than a little flattering. :oops:

Separately I'd like to point out that a lot of hay has been made at the $5 Million cost of the study. I think it's worth keeping that figure in perspective it is a lot of money, but it's only half of what Quebec City paid to be rejected for an NHL team, a considerably smaller affair.
 

BKha

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I voted 'yes'. Despite the cost, events like that are a legacy, and when we hosted the 88 games it put Calgary on the map globally. It also became a source of civic pride for people in the city, and Calgarians have carried that pride forward ever since.
 

Marcanadian

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$5 million does seem steep for a study, but if it's what's required, I think Calgary would be foolish not to look into the opportunity. They've proven themselves once already, they can do it again.

Although I wonder if a U.S. city will get it this time around. They haven't had one since Salt Lake in 2002.
 

Oddball

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$5 million does seem steep for a study, but if it's what's required, I think Calgary would be foolish not to look into the opportunity. They've proven themselves once already, they can do it again.

Although I wonder if a U.S. city will get it this time around. They haven't had one since Salt Lake in 2002.
I also have a feeling that a US city will have an edge in a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics. Barring a win by Los Angeles for the 2024 Summer Olympics that is. Given the IOC's reported interest in Calgary, I think the city will recieve fair consideration though. And losing in 2026, might still leave the door open for 2030.

We put together a front page story about the bid with some good photos of the old Olympic Sites.
Your link wasn't working for some reason, but I was still able to find the article on the front page. Great profile!
 
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Oddball

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Somewhat tangentially, I watched the movie Eddie the Eagle last night. It was a fun movie and worth seeing. Sadly it flopped pretty hard on Cal-Con. Cool Runnings > Eddie the Eagle. Obersdorf, Bavaria was the stand in for Calgary and it just didn't ring true. The music was pretty amazing though, but they really missed an opportunity by not including the '88 Winter Games Theme.

I have to say those must be the only two movies ever made about Calgary. Just one more legacy of the '88 Olympics. If we want two more, we'd better spend them billions. :p
 

RyLucky

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What would it take for me to support an Olympic bid? Every dime lent and spent has to benefit the long term economic growth and social equity of the city. For ecample:

- Fund the Green Line and 8th Ave subway
- If Flames owners and fans completely front the bill for a new stadium in WV, I think we could justify spending a lot to build a surrounding Olympic village (built on levy like EV), 19th St w bow bridge, remediation, perhaps some Bow/Crow upgrades.
-extension of cycle tracks
- A variety of parks, ponds, trails, ameteur sport facilities, and ice surfaces and possibly one legacy touristy city icon (ie a 6-block skating surface through the Beltline or a major public artwork)
- Widespread volunteer involvement

Right now there is a very low public interest for hosting in most European and North American cities - so while I'm not interested in a bid that benefits only wealthy flames owners, I can see we might have a strong bid if there's a way we can create a more equal and integrated city
 
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Always_Biking

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^^This.

I'm fine with exploring the idea of the Olympics, but not necessarily a bid. The Olympics would have to benefit us somehow, and I think the Olympics need Calgary more than Calgary needs the Olympics. If Calgary can get some longterm infrastructure out of it, then I'm good with it.
 

Oddball

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I'm with you guys, legacy building has to be the primary reason to host the games. I'd really like to see the Green Line and an Airport Spur Line as a result of the games. The Canada Line was such a win for Vancouver. I don't know if we'd manage to get the 8th ave subway bundled into the deal because it is a less talked about project, but I'd certainly like to see it too though.

I also wonder where the Olympic Village might be situated this time around should the bid go forward. Most of the events will be taking place in the West/North West of the city or out of town in the mountains, so a location in the West of the city would likely be preferable. It's really unfortunate that Paskapoo Slopes/Medicine Hill took the location it did (for a number of reasons), that might have been the ideal spot. Part of me would really love to see them eat up those empty lots along the CPR line, but I worry that they be a logistic nightmare during the games. Unless of course that would be situated next to a train station for regional commuter rail. ;)

I'd also welcome the refresh that several of our legacies for the previous Olympics would get as a result. Especially Olympic Plaza and the Olympic Oval.

I also wonder how a bid would impact things not directly related to the Olympics or infrastructure. Things like 17th avenue beautification and extention and the work on the Stampede grounds, which likely want to be done in order to capitalize on the tourism opportunities.

The new arena may eventually get tied in with a bid for the games, but as it stands it's a project that will go forward in one form or another regardless of the outcome of the bid. I doubt we're going to get something without some kind of a public outlay, but what the Calgary Flames were proposing was utterly unreasonable. I honestly hope this matter reaches resolution before a potential bid really materializes. It is already going to drag on a long while as it is. Tying it to the big will on extend that, especially if a bid fails.
 

Oddball

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Calgary's Olympic bid got a little love from the National Post in this article. Fingers crossed. :) Whatever your thoughts on Trump, the fact that a lot of people dislike him would probably be a boost when competing against US cities.
 

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