Three candidates for 2026 Olympics
by Martin Merk|10 OCT 2018
Of the three candidate cities, Stockholm has most recently hosted a top-level IIHF event. The Globe arena hosted the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship four times, most recently in 2013.
photo: Richard Wolowicz / HHOF-IIHF Images
During the recent IOC Session in Buenos Aires, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has invited Calgary (Canada), Milan/Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy) and Stockholm (Sweden) to become candidates cities for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.

The decision by the IOC Session marked the beginning of the shortened formal candidature stage, during which the cities will continue to work closely with the IOC to develop their best possible Games plan, in line with Olympic Agenda 2020/New Norm. The candidates will submit a single candidature file in January 2019, as part of a streamlined process which reduces the cost and complexity for the cities. 

The IOC Members approved the recommendation of the IOC Executive Board (EB), which was based on the report by the Olympic Winter Games Working Group 2026 (click here for the full report). This Group had assessed the feasibility of these three and other interested cities in a dialogue stage.

All three cities are well known to fans of ice hockey.

Calgary has hosted the 1988 Olympic Winter Games and was in the 2011/2012 season main venue of the IIHF World Junior Championship together with Edmonton reaching one of the highest attendances with 444,718 spectators for 31 games. Like back then, ice hockey would be played at the 19,000-seat Saddledome, home of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, and in a new 5,000-seat arena to be built in the Foothills Cluster.
The Saddledome is home of the Calgary Flames and hosted the 1988 Olympic Winter Games and pictured the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
photo: Andy Devlin / HHOF-IIHF Images
Sweden has never hosted the Olympic Winter Games but Stockholm was the venue of the Summer Games in 1912. The capital of Sweden has hosted many top-level ice hockey events including the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in 1949, 1954, 1963, 1969, 1970, 1981, 1989, 1995, 2012 and 2013. The bid would foresee the use of two existing ice hockey venues, the 15,000-seat Ericsson Globe in Stockholm that hosted four World Championships and the 6,200-seat Scaniarinken in the suburb of Sodertalje.

Both Cortina and Milan have hosted international top-level ice hockey previously. Cortina was the venue of the 1956 Olympic Winter Games while Milan hosted the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in 1934 and 1994. The current plan would foresee ice hockey to be played in the North Italian metropolis with a new 15,000-seat arena Palaitalia a Santa Giulia and the existing Palalido de Milano with a capacity for 5,600 fans.

An Evaluation Commission will be appointed by the IOC, and will travel to the cities in March and April 2019. The Commission will then publish a report in June 2019, prior to the election of the host city at the 134th IOC Session.

In agreement with the three Candidate Cities, this Session will be moved from Milan, Italy, to Lausanne, Switzerland, where the IOC membership was already scheduled to convene in June 2019, for the Candidate City Briefing for the Olympic Winter Games 2026. This change ensures compliance with Rule 33 of the Olympic Charter, which states that the election cannot be held in a country which has a candidate for the Games concerned.

- with files from the IOC