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Wednesday October 31, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The City Council is meeting now after Assessment Committee recommends withdrawing. However last minute fiance deal is put in place... UPDATED

The city council will vote on the issue later today and the meeting has just started.

Outside are supporters and opponents of The Games.

10 votes from the 14 councillors will be needed to end the city's bid for the 2026 Olympic Games.

It comes as a last minute finance deal has been done after the Calgary Olympic Assessment Commitee released its earlier advice.

The new finance proposal, signed by the provincial and federal governments, is based on a revised plan and means the Games will be supported by the public purse to the tune of  $2.875 billion.

Previously Calgary 2026's hosting plan pegged the public sector portion of the bill at $3 billion.

It may be enough to save the day for supporters of Calgary 2026.

Or it may not.

It's on a knife edge.

The  deal comes after the Assessment Committee issued the following statement yesterday:

"Given the Government of Canada, Government of Alberta, City of Calgary and town of Canmore have been unable to conclude a cost-sharing arrangement to fund the public sector portion of Calgary 2026's draft hosting concept in sufficient time to ensure that Calgarians have sufficient information to make an informed decision during the 2018 November 13 vote of the electors:

A. Rescind the authorisation provided to the city manager on 2018 September 11 to negotiate cost sharing arrangements to host the 2026 Olympics Winter Games.

B. Cancel the vote of the electors scheduled to be held on 2018 November 13."

If the bid is ditched then the Canadian city is the latest one to reject the 2026 Games.

Innsbruck in Austria and Sion in Switzerland both held a referendum and the people rejected hosting the Games.

Even if a last minute deal is done on the financing there will still be the hurdle of a public referendum in Calgary on 13th November.

If Calgary withdraws only two bids remain; Stockholm in Sweden and a joint Italian bid from Milan and Cortina.

Neither have political backing and there are serious concerns about their viability.

The direct reason for the potential end today is down to money.

This also needs to be seen against a background of lukewarm public support and some strong opposition.

It would be a severe blow for the International Olympic Committee if the bid is called off and the IOC will be hoping for a last minute deal on the funding.

If the bid is called off we will be looking at the options ahead for the troubled 2026 Winter Olympics here on PlanetSKI.

With a real chance that the Swedish and Italian bids could fall then there is the prospect that none of the bidding cities will be left when a decision is set to be made next year.

What will happen then?

Watch this space.

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