Nearly four years after a majority of Calgary voters said no to going ahead with the 2026 Winter Olympics, the provincial government says it is aware of another effort to bring the games to Alberta and that he did not exclude this possibility.
“The question has certainly been raised. Is that a possibility? We’re certainly open to that,” Alberta Culture Minister Ron Orr said.
Orr made the comments Tuesday morning to WinSport while announcing the province will provide $17.5 million for upgrades to the facility’s Frank King Day Lodge.
The lodge has not undergone major renovations since its construction in 1987 and was used as a media center during the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
“There is a small group of individuals who have developed proposals for a future opportunity and we will certainly review them as and when it becomes appropriate to talk specifics,” Orr said. “Yes it’s possible.”
The minister would not say which group was leading the talks on a possible bid or for what year they planned to bid.
Alberta Culture Minister Ron Orr confirmed to WinSport on Oct. 4 that a group is exploring a potential bid to bring the Olympics back to Alberta.
In November 2018, 56.4% of Calgarians voted to stop exploring a bid for the 2026 Olympics.
WinSport President and CEO Barry Heck has confirmed that his group is not currently involved in any discussions over a possible future offer.
“Does this open the door to a potential future offer? Yeah, maybe,” Heck said. “Every time we upgrade and build a new facility that can be used for a world-class event, like an Olympic bid or a World Cup or an X-Games, it improves our city’s ability to attract those events.”
Orr said the province had been involved in the initial process of exploring a bid, but would not elaborate further.
“The city of Calgary has almost every amenity it would need for games at this point,” Orr said. “And, of course, that kind of redevelopment would obviously add to that.”