Independently audited accounts of the candidature process for the Olympic Winter Games 2026 show the average budget was less than USD 5 million compared to approximately USD 35 million in the previous process for the Olympic Winter Games 2022.
This was a direct result of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) implementing recommendation 3 of Olympic Agenda 2020, which called for reducing the cost of candidatures by further assisting interested parties.
This information was presented to the IOC Session, held this Friday, in the report of the IOC Olympic Games department.
“With Olympic Agenda 2020, we have a more flexible and collaborative approach to help interested parties align the Games with their long-term ambitions,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “This has made creating Olympic Games projects much more affordable and accessible, which was proven by the Candidature Process 2026 and the many expressions of interest we have received for future Olympic Games.”
The 2026 process was completely reformed to increase partnership, flexibility and sharing of knowledge. It featured a one-year non-committal Dialogue Stage, during which the IOC worked for hand in hand with seven Interested Cities and National Olympic Committees.
Additional support was offered to help them develop Games projects that could best fit their local context as well as their needs and long-term development plans.
Technical services that candidates would have had to procure themselves to be able to design their projects in the past were provided at IOC cost and in partnership with its stakeholders. These included interactive working sessions and visits by experts to offer advice and assistance in areas such as Games concept, governance and operations, legal, marketing, finance, sustainability, and legacy.
In addition to a reduced number of deliverables and presentations, the additional investment from the IOC in services and support has paid off by reducing costs and creating projects that are better suited for the future of hosts and the Olympic Movement.
Following the 2026 Host City Election and moving forward with the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, the IOC approved a more targeted and streamlined approach to future host elections, in which flexibility and sustainability continue to be key drivers. It opens the door to any interested party to enter into non-committal continuous dialogue with the IOC, which does not have to be edition-specific, through two permanent Future Host Commissions (Summer and Winter). It also allows the IOC to target a potential host if deemed beneficial to the Olympic Movement.
The IOC will continue to offer hands-on support and expertise to help define and develop projects in partnership with the interested parties that will produce many long-lasting legacies for the local populations.