2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bid Economy

If Calgary proceeded with submitting a bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games, there were a number of projected benefits, risks and opportunities that hosting the Games may have had on Calgary's economy.


Calgary's 2026's Draft Hosting Plan Concept


  • Strengthen and recognize Calgary, Canmore and the Bow Valley’s sport hosting brand
  • Attract and retain an innovative, creative and skilled workforce
  • Work with Indigenous communities and organizations
  • Boost innovation, investment, and creativity in Alberta
  • Create a common story of the city’s future through artists, creators and innovators
  • Create partnerships that achieve cultural and educational goals, sharing the benefits in the community, throughout the province and across the nation
  • Build international relationships, attract investment, and create jobs and innovative business

Potential benefits and risks of hosting the Games


  • Supports Calgary Economic Development’s 10-year Economic Strategy, by making Calgary a hub for national and international investment
  • Promote Calgary internationally with events leading up to and during the Games:
    • According to the Vancouver 2010 Global Television and Online Media Overview, the 2010 Games were shown on television in more than 220 countries. 1.8 billion viewers saw at least one minute of Vancouver 2010 coverage on television, 48 per cent of the potential global audience
    • In Canada, 98.3 per cent of the population (32.9 million viewers) saw at least some of the coverage on TV
  • International awareness of Calgary may lead to a rise in investment, helping our economy grow in new ways and with new ideas
  • Rise in tourism during the Games and potentially after
  • Calgary can continue to host regional, national and international sport events and host new larger events
  • Historical significance of Winter Games in Calgary and North American cities:
    • After the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, the Vancouver Organizing Committee had a four-part series done on legacies  left in host cities from the Olympics in 1980 (Lake Placid), 1988 (Calgary), 2002 (Salt Lake City), and 2010 (Vancouver)


  • Hosting an event of this size and complexity means that certain risks must be accepted. Not all risks would be eliminated and would need to be closely managed
  • The return on investment in economic, social and environmental terms may not be perceived as being enough for Calgarians 
  • Determining potential return on investment is difficult because the return on investment is often easier to see years after the Games ends
  • Future economic climates are unknown and may impact costs and revenues
  • Reports on past Games in other cities have different opinions on the economic benefit of hosting the Games

Aligning with City priorities

The City reviewed the draft hosting plan to see how well it fits with Citizen Priorities, Council Directives, City policies, strategies and long-term capital and financial plans.

The Council Directives directly linked to this topic