What are the main themes identified from the Survey of Calgary Area and Residents?
An important component of exploring the feasibility of a potential bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games is understanding the public opinion of Calgarians and residents of the Bow Valley Corridor. As such, a multi-pronged research approach was designed to speak with citizens and the community organizations that serve them to better understand the potential impact that a bid would have.
To ensure Calgary and area residents are heard in this process, CBEC conducted a scientifically valid quantitative survey to identify the issues that matter most to citizens, their level of support or opposition and various perspectives on economic, social and environmental factors. Almost 2,000 respondents from Calgary, Canmore, Banff and Cochrane were surveyed via telephone and online, and asked a series of questions about a potential 2026 OPWG bid between March 6-19, 2017. The results below represent a snapshot in time and it is important to note that public opinion can be affected by many factors.
The overall result was approximately two-thirds of respondents support a bid. The survey also addresses many of the different factors behind potentially supporting or opposing a bid. Some of the things citizens told us included:
Economic concerns are a high priority for respondents; many see the positives a bid could have for their city
The majority of Calgarians see a potential bid as a worthwhile investment with economic value, regardless of whether it is successful. Over half of respondents believe that the bid process would be cost conscious and budgets would be managed well. Calgarians are less likely to agree that negative economic impacts will outweigh potential economic benefits or that the money that might be put towards the 2026 Games would be better spent on other things.
Overall, respondents trust the city would be an environmentally responsible host
Most respondents do not feel as though the Games would be harmful to the environment, and believe that Calgary would be an environmentally responsible host. This being said, some concerns were raised regarding the environment being a secondary consideration that would have less progressive steps forward.
Respondents are positive about the opportunity to showcase cultural groups; worry about potential negative impacts on social issues
A majority of Calgarians agree that hosting the 2026 Games would provide important opportunities for cultural groups in their city. However, optimism is softer when it comes to whether a Games could potentially help address social issues. This notion is demonstrated by just over a third of Calgarians who worry about disruption of programs and services during a potential Games, and whether social issues might be neglected as a result.
Respondents see value in Calgary’s legacy from 1988 and desire further investment in both new and existing facilities
More than seven in ten Calgarians would like to see further investment in existing ‘88 legacy facilities and believe that the past legacy goes beyond sport. While sizeable minorities are concerned about the cost and utilization of post-Games infrastructure, the predominant sentiment is that Calgary is in need of updated facilities.
A potential bid evokes a sense of pride and emotional connection to the reputation of Calgary
More than two-thirds of Calgarians would be proud if their city submitted a bid. A majority also agree that the bid itself would be a much needed boost after some tough times, and that these types of initiatives are not a waste of time. Fewer than one-in-four residents feel a bid would be negative for the citizens of Calgary and that the region shouldn’t associated itself with organizations like the International Olympic Committee.
As CBEC works to determine if a potential bid could fit into Calgary’s vision for its future, the public’s input is integral in determining where Calgary and Bow Valley residents stand on a bid advancement and what concerns it must address if it were to go forward. The opinions of these residents are useful in shaping the work of CBEC and will help inform and guide the final recommendation.
For a short summary of the results, click here.