(ATR) Austria is moving forward with a feasibility study to bring the Winter Games back for a third time.
The Austrian Olympic Committee and Innsbruck Municipal Council are partnering with a joint venture consisting of Pro Projekt AS + P, Management Center Innsbruck, Solid Event Management and Consulting GmbH.
The joint venture was selected over three other contenders and has experience consulting for Olympic bids from Leipzig 2012, Munich 2018, Almaty 2022 and Hamburg 2024.
The study will cost $280,000, a decrease from the original projected price tag of $370,000. The study will be funded by the AOC, City of Innsbruck and national government.
Innsbruck Mayor Christine Oppitz-Plörer told local media the study will provide a foundation for the long-term decision of whether to bid for the 2026 edition of the Games.
"It is about showing the conditions and necessities and preparing them professionally," said Mayor Oppitz-Plörer. "I am convinced that we have found an ideal partner with this bidding community."
The study will follow a recently conducted public opinion poll by students at the University of Innsbruck that concluded in November. The telephone survey of 400 Innsbruck citizens found that 48 percent supported the Olympic project while 42 percent were against hosting the Games again. The survey had a 4.8 percent margin of error.
The country’s most recent attempt to bid for the Games ended in 2013 when Vienna residents voted no on a referendum to bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics.
Innsbruck has previously hosted the 1964 and 1976 editions of the Winter Olympics as well as the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012.
The feasibility study is expected to be completed in May 2017, allowing an official decision to be made in time for Innsbruck to submit its official bid to the IOC at the end of 2017.
Innsbruck is expected to face competition from the winning regional bid in Switzerland, Calgary, Canada and a potential Stockholm, Sweden bid.
The IOC will select the host of the 2026 Winter Games at its IOC Session in 2019.
Written by Kevin Nutley
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