Calgary 2026 Olympic deal struck between federal and provincial governments: BidCo

The Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation (BidCo) struck a funding deal with federal and provincial governments late Tuesday night. It’s the first time the feds have signed an official agreement and the first time the City of Calgary has put forward a number publicly.

BidCo’s new public funding request totals $2.875 billion.

In the proposal, the City of Calgary would contribute $370 million in cash, $150 million in pre-authorized Victoria Park and Stampede access improvements, and an insurance redemption amount of $200 million to cover a “defined contingency.”

The Government of Alberta is sticking to its original offer of $700 million.

The federal government would provide $1.423 billion, matching financial commitments to event costs made by the province, the City of Calgary and the Town of Canmore.

A letter that BidCo sent to the premier, the feds and to Calgary’s mayor also mentioned $30 million in “leveraging initiatives” that have been identified in the hosting plan.

BidCo said the funding proposal strikes the right balance of money from all levels of government and means strong investment that would allow Calgary to benefit from new infrastructure.

“This is a proposal that makes sense and is a good deal for Calgarians,” said BidCo board chair Scott Hutcheson in a press release. “I’m confident we and our government partners can agree to move forward and reach an agreement in principle.

“I know city council understands how important this is to Calgary, that they know what’s at stake here, and that they will show their strong leadership and allow Calgarians to decide the outcome of the Olympic and Paralympic bid at a plebiscite Nov. 13. These will be Canada’s Games, Calgary’s choice.”

Reaction started to roll in from city councillors after the announcement.

“I’m very pleased citizens will have a deal to consider when they head to the polls,” said Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra.

“I have serious concerns,” said Ward 11 Coun. Jeromy Farkas. “I need to know how the budget has been cut so substantially to make the numbers work. If it’s reduction from security, we are moving into reckless territory to continue.”

Council is expected to vote on whether to continue the bid to host the 2026 Paralympic and Olympic Games on Wednesday.

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