Innsbruck, Austria, Drops 2026 Olympic Bid After Failed Referendum
Innsbruck's Winter Olympic Games bid was "stopped dead in its tracks" Sunday after it was defeated in a public referendum across Innsbruck and Tirol, according to Robert Livingstone of GAMES BIDS. Austrian Olympic officials along with the IOC will view this as a "major setback after struggling to recover the image of the Games and reform the bid process in order to make it more palatable for governments and the general public." With all 279 of the polls reporting, only 46.65% approve the Olympic bid while 53.35% stand against it. In Innsbruck alone, the vote was "more negative" with only 32.95% in support and 67.41% voting "no." While there are "still voting cards to be counted, a large majority of those would have to be in favor of the bid to turn the results around." The failed referendum means that Innsbruck "will be prevented from entering the race." Over the past several weeks the Innsbruck 2026 bid committee had "taken to the streets and social media to aggressively promote the bid and to get voters to the polls to support the project." The IOC "did its part" by launching a new bid process designed to keep costs and risks low, and to work with the cities to ensure only feasible plans move forward (GAMES BIDS, 10/15).