Swiss Government Approves $1B Backing Of Proposed 2026 Sion Winter Games
Switzerland's federal government said that it would contribute almost 1B Swiss francs ($1.02B) "toward Sion hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics," according to the AP. The Swiss Federal Council voted to "support the proposed candidature, which still requires approval from expected public votes." Federal councilor Guy Parmelin, who heads the department for sports, said that the project "would be withdrawn if the votes are lost." Sion was left as Swiss Olympic's best option for '26 after voters in the Graubuenden canton "rejected a proposal from St. Moritz and Davos for a second straight time." Swiss Olympic President Jürg Stahl said, "This decision allows us to pursue our work in order to make this candidacy even stronger and to convince the population" (AP, 10/18). SWISS INFO reported the Swiss government's 1B Swiss francs contribution would be used for "several funding areas." Some 8M Swiss francs ($8.15M) will go toward funding the bid itself, which is ongoing. A final vote on the host city by the IOC will take place in summer '19. Should Sion be successful, 827M Swiss francs ($842.7M) of federal funds would "help the organization of the Games." The organizers estimate the total projected costs at just under 2B Swiss francs ($2.04B). Federal funding would contribute toward the "adaptation of current facilities," while the government would also fund 20% of total security costs (SWISS INFO, 10/18).