Calgary has made national headlines over the last couple of days after its city council agreed to back a study that might return a recommendation that the city could, if it wanted, have the wherewithal to bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics.
The announcement, of course, was met with a romantic reaction. Calgary’ ‘88 Winter Olympics were a massive success. The city already has a lot of infrastructure in place to host another Winter Games.
But, we also must remember that the Canadian Soccer Association is still planning to bid on the 2026 World Cup. One of the first orders of business for CSA President Victor Montagliani (now that’s he’s the head of CONCACAF, he now has less than a year to relinquish his CSA post) was to announce the intention to present Canada’s bid to FIFA. And, political leaders across the country are well aware of that bid process — in 2014, the second issue of Plastic Pitch focused on Canada’s 2026 World Cup, and it featured interviews with city leaders from across the country.
So, could Canada possibly host both an Olympics AND a World Cup in the same calendar year? The heart says yes, but the head says hell no. Both would require massive support from various levels of governments, and it would be difficult to imagine taxpayers subsidizing both of those events.
In the end, you’d have to believe that one bid would sabotage the other — and in the worst-case scenario — both would blow up because of it. Before we get to “official bid” time, Canadians need to decide which they’d rather go for.
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