With a majority of Calgarians voting against the city hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics, Calgary’s bid is all but finished thanks to pledges from elected officials, who said they would not go forward without the support of voters.
Of the 304,774 ballots cast, 171,750 or 56.4 per cent were against Calgary hosting the 2026 Olympics, with 132,832 in favour.
The results of Tuesday’s vote are non-binding and city council must still formally vote to kill the bid, but the provincial and federal governments were clear their financial support of the Games was contingent upon the endorsement of Calgarians in a public vote.
Calgary 2026 chair Scott Hutcheson thanked hundreds of downcast supporters who gathered at a bar east of the downtown to hear the results Tuesday night.
“I believed in what the Olympic Games could do for our community and for our province and for our country,” he said.
“I’m disappointed with the outcome, but I certainly respect the democratic process.”
The Olympic bid had an estimated price tag of $5.1 billion, with the province agreeing to contribute $700 million and Ottawa covering another $1.423 billion through Sport Canada.
The city was asked to contribute $390 million, including $20 million for a $200-million insurance policy against cost overruns.