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IOC visits Calgary to discuss potential of hosting 2026 Winter Games

Last Updated Jan 16, 2018 at 3:00 pm EDT

Members of the International Olympic Committee are in Calgary this week to meet with the city's Olympic project team. Calgary city council is deciding whether to bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Council is expected to address the question again at its next meeting Jan. 29.A uniform from the 1988 Olympic torch run is seen in Calgary on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY – Members of the International Olympic Committee are in Calgary this week to meet with the city’s Olympic project team.

Calgary city council is deciding whether to bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Council is expected to address the question again at its next meeting Jan. 29.

The IOC is in Calgary at its own cost, according to a statement Tuesday from the city, to provide feedback and resources on a potential bid.

IOC members will tour the winter sport facilities still in use from the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, the statement said.

With few cities interested in holding the Olympic Games, the IOC has revamped processes to make both bidding and hosting Olympic Games cheaper and more sustainable.

Calgary is currently in the “dialogue” phase. The IOC will invite cities to bid for 2026 in October, 2018 and the deadline is January, 2019.

Council voted Nov. 20 to spend up to $2 million more exploring a bid but said only $1 million would be released until it’s known what the federal and provincial governments are willing to contribute to a bid.

City staff estimated a bid price tag would be between $25-million and $30 million.

A project team of city staff and consultants took over the work of the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee, which estimated the cost of hosting the Winter Games at $4.6 billion.

Calgary wants a deeper dive into five areas before it approves a bid: capital costs; security; operating costs; finances; and financial guarantees.

Council gave $5 million for CBEC to conduct its research. CBEC’s work came in $1.5 million under budget and that money was passed on to the project team.