The city of Stockholm says it won’t bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics.
Karin Wanngard, the city official in charge of finances, says the reason is because the International Olympic Committee will not be able to report how big the financial contribution to the host city will be.
She says the figures “will arrive at the earliest in November.”
This means that time will be too short to get enough analysis for the issues raised by several actors,” said the Swedish lawmaker, whose Social Democratic Party had been supportive of hosting the event.
“We Social Democrats have always thought that the Olympic Games are important for Stockholm’s growth and development,” Wanngard said in a statement, adding there was little backing for the event. “Unfortunately, we are alone to have this position about the Olympic Games.”
Swedish Sports Confederation chairman Bjorn Eriksson said he and his organization “fully respect the decision as we also believe in a realistic budget and a sustainable economy.”
Sports Minister Gabriel Wikstrom also supported the decision, adding that the Social Democratic-led government was “ready to handle requests for financial guarantees.”
“We have also been clear that it is Stockholm’s city that must make its decision first,” he told Sweden news agency TT.
The news comes six days after the Swedish Olympic Committee named a CEO for the 2026 bid.
In January, the committee said that Stockholm staging the 2026 Winter Olympics was “possible and desirable” and that a formal bid was expected in March 2018.
In 2015, Stockholm pulled out of the race for the 2022 Winter Games after Swedish politicians refused to give financial backing. Swedish politicians were uncomfortable because of concerns over costs, the environment, post-Games use of venues, the environment and other issues.
The early 2026 bid plan called for 80 percent of the events in Stockholm, while most of the Alpine competitions would be in the northern resort of Are, more than 600 kilometers (400 miles) from the capital. A few skiing events would be in Falun, 215 kilometers (130 miles) northwest from there.
The 2026 Winter Olympics have one bidder — Sion, Switzerland.
Cities in Austria, Canada, Japan and have also discussed potential 2026 bids, as has Lillehammer, Norway, the 1994 Winter Olympic host. The U.S. is not expected to bid for the 2026 Winter Games.
The next two Winter Olympics will be in East Asia in PyeongChang in 2018 and Beijing in 2022, giving a European or North American city a greater opening to be the 2026 host.
The 2026 Olympic host city is expected to be chosen from an International Olympic Committee members vote in 2019.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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