Calgary Considering Big Venue Changes To Sure Up '26 Winter Games Bid
Calgary is "considering major changes to its Olympic blueprint for a series of skiing events as part of its potential bid" for the '26 Winter Games after the IOC "raised concerns about one of the city's proposed sporting venues," according to Carrie Tait of the GLOBE & MAIL. IOC officials are "worried about Calgary's plan to host alpine speed events at Lake Louise Ski Resort, which is in Banff National Park." Canada "limits activity in its national parks and that may stymie Calgary's current plan for Lake Louise, which is a privately controlled resort that must abide by government restrictions." Canada's political leaders will have to "determine whether they would allow tens of thousands of people as well as infrastructure into national parks to host the Olympics and other mega-events." But venue shuffles "could create fresh logistical problems." The Calgary Bid Exploration Committee's plans for the Nakiska Ski Area, which was built for the '88 Games, "assumed it would likely need three hours between events for spectators to arrive and clear out." Should Nakiska "host the alpine speed events, other sports may need a new home so the venue is not overloaded." This red flag "comes just weeks before Calgary expects the federal and provincial governments to decide whether they will help pay for the bidding process, and two months before the city must declare whether it intends to bid." The city estimates it will cost between C$25M-30M to "bid for the Games" (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/24).