Calgary Winter Olympics bid needs more work: committee

Calgary, in western Canada, last hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1988

Calgary's bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games needs further evaluation by the local authority to the tune of CAN$2 million ($1.6 million), according to recommendations presented to the city council Monday.

The Calgary Bid Exploration Committee (CBEC) said it "remains skeptical" of a potential bid from the west Canadian town, which hosted the Winter Games in 1988.

In a series of recommendations, the panel added that the municipal, provincial and federal governments should invest in facilities for the Games given the "long term benefits for the community," according to documents presented at the meeting.

The committee said the federal government should cover security costs -- while operational costs should be covered by "ticket sales, sponsorship, broadcast rights, IOC (International Olympic Committee) contributions and other earned revenues," as opposed to taxpayers.

It also called for the creation of a "financial structure" by the local authority to carry debt incurred as a result of the Games.

Council members have demanded guarantees from the federal and provincial governments about their level of involvement in an application that could require a budget of CAN$25 to 30 million.

At this stage, Alberta's provincial government has not made a decision.

"They haven't said no," Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said.

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