Calgary not considering help from Edmonton in potential Olympic bid

It looks like any participation of Edmonton playing a secondary role in a Calgary 2026 Winter Olympics bid is off the table.

In an update Monday, Calgary’s bid exploration committee confirmed it’s only looking at the feasibility of that city along with Canmore and Banff.

READ MORE: Committee needs to do more number crunching before it decides on Calgary Olympic bid 

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Watching security costs was one reason given for keeping the potential of a bid in that cluster in the Rocky Mountains.

Former Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson, who’s chairing the 17-member committee, said the city committed $5 million to look at the infrastructure within Calgary to see how it fits with the idea of a bid.

“Our mandate, our mission, was not to go across the province or go elsewhere and assess what they have and look at these things; it’s very specific to come out with a report to assess what does Calgary need to maintain its reputation as a world-class winter sport city?”

“Whatever decision is made we’re going forward with the full knowledge of what is required to do this or not and if it isn’t, it’s because of really good solid reasons that people can look at and say, ‘that makes sense.’”

READ MORE: Could Edmonton and Calgary co-host 2026 Olympics or Commonwealth Games? 

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson confirmed there have not been any official talks between Calgary and Edmonton.

“Formally, we haven’t heard from Calgary but informally, we hear lots of different things about different possibilities… I think one has got to grapple with the political realities of what Alberta can afford in this situation and I think even the federal government has certainly got lots of options on its plate between FIFA and some of the other events that are out there.”

Iveson wants to keep the lines of communication open.

READ MORE: City of Edmonton withdraws bid for 2022 Commonwealth Games 

“There’s the school of thought that wants to go it alone and then there’s the school of thought that recognizes that may be a pretty difficult political sell with the provincial government, so I doubt the question is settled yet. We remain very open to the conversations about working together around either Olympics or Commonwealth Games.”

The report to Calgary city council on whether to give the idea of a bid a green or red ligh, will come in July.

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