Olympics: Calgary would need C$2.4 billion to cover Games cost

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[June 20, 2017]  TORONTO (Reuters) - Calgary would need C$2.4 billion ($1.81 billion) in funding to cover the shortfall between revenue and costs if the western Canadian city were to host the 2026 Winter Olympics, according to a group exploring a potential bid.

The Calgary Bid Exploration Committee told the City Council in a presentation on Monday that C$2.2 billion in revenue from the Games would offset less than half their C$4.6 billion cost.

"I am confident when I say that the Board and staff at CBEC have diligently reviewed all aspects of bidding and hosting a prospective 2026 Games, and the numbers we are sharing today accurately represent the current situation," CBEC Chair Rick Hanson said in a statement.

The committee said Calgary's funding requirement was reduced given the 1988 Winter Games host had the ability to re-use existing venues, rather than build new ones.

The group said it had included post-Games endowments and facility operations costs in its budget estimates.

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Calgary is pictured at dusk in Alberta, Canada July 13, 2016. REUTERS/Todd Korol

"One of the things we identified from looking at some prior Olympic Games was the failure to account for post-Games operation and maintenance of facilities in their budgets, said Hanson. "While this adds cost, our Board felt it was a necessary addition to a prospective budget."

The Committee is scheduled to make its final recommendation to the city on July 24.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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