Two cities in Northern Italy — the fashion capital of Milan and the ski resort town of Cortina d’Ampezzo — will co-host the world’s best for the 2026 Winter Olympics.
The Italian bid beat out another dual-city proposal by Sweden, which wanted to see the games split between Stockholm and Are, another skiing destination. Sweden was Italy’s only competitor, a sign, perhaps, The New York Times reported, of waning global interest in the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee’s delegates voted 47-34 in Italy’s favor.
This is the second consecutive time only two countries made significant bids for the Winter games, after other bowed out or were deemed unprepared by the IOC, according to the Times. But the committee’s willingness to allow a country to split the duties between cities is a sign of changing times — the rising cost of hosting it too much for a single city to take on.
The estimated price tag for the 2026 games stands at $1.7 billion right now, but, as the Times noted, those costs always rise. Russia spent a staggering $51 billion on the 2014 Sochi games.
With about $925 million coming from the IOC to go towards the overall bill, the rest of the money needed is often picked straight from the pockets of local tax payers who, in this case, supported their country’s bid by more than 80 percent, according to the IOC’s polling.
It will still be about nine years before America takes its next turn playing Olympic host, when the Summer Games return to Los Angeles in 2028 — for a whopping $7 billion.
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