(ATR) Aligning with the IOC’s Agenda 2020 initiative, one of the fortes of the Stockholm-Åre 2026 bid is its use of pre-existing venues, many of which have been home to World Cup and world championship events.
Of 12 competition venues proposed in Sweden’s bid, only three new ones will need to be constructed – for cross-country skiing, speed skating and curling, all just outside the Stockholm city center.
Stockholm’s iconic Olympic Stadium, built for the 1912 Games, is the proposed venue for freestyle aerials and big air competitions for 2026, in addition to the closing ceremony.
The 1912 Summer Games remains the only time that Sweden has solely hosted the Olympics, but amazingly, after 117 years, the urban stadium is still in use as home to IAAF Diamond League athletics, soccer matches, concerts and for recreational cross-country skiers in winter.
The venerable stadium has also established itself as a leading host of FIS World Cup big air skiing and snowboarding events that have routinely attracted more than 26,000 fans.
The Stockholm Olympic Stadium is the oldest Olympic sports venue in use today, a living example of Olympic legacy that is also home to the Swedish Olympic Committee.
"If Sweden is elected to host its first ever Winter Games in 2026, the world’s oldest Olympic stadium would host some of the newest Olympic disciplines," said Stockholm Åre 2026 CEO Richard Brisius. "That sends a really compelling message about the enduring power and relevance of the Olympic Movement today."
While the historic stadium would be part of an innovative multiple venue closing ceremony spread across four clusters, the opening ceremony is planned for Stockholm’s Friends Arena, a modern 51,000 capacity multi-purpose stadium with a retractable roof. Opened in 2009, it is the largest stadium in Scandinavia. Women’s ice hockey would be contested in Stockholm’s western suburb of Södertälje at the Scaniarinken arena.
The Tele2 Arena is another modern urban venue that would be home to figure skating and short track should Sweden win its bid.
Adjacent to the Tele2 Arena is Stockholm’s unique Ericsson Globe. Having been the setting for numerous ice hockey world championships, most recently in 2012 and 2013, the Stockholm Globe Arena, as it is also referred, will be the primary venue for men’s hockey matches. Shaped like a large white ball, the largest hemispherical building in the world was recently awarded the 2025 world championship.
Alpine skiing parallel and team events are tapped for the small, but downtown ski area of Hammarby. Recent World Cup events have drawn large crowds at the city venue.
All three new venues proposed will be in the Stockholm environs. The bid plan relies entirely on private investments for the new facilities.
The Hamra Nordic Center, planned for cross-country skiing and biathlon events, will provide a year-round recreational facility for Stockholm citizens just southwest of the city center. It will be developed on the site of an old quarry.
The curling venue in the Gubbangen district of southern Stockholm is already under construction. Post-Games plans include using the arena for the sport of bandy and as a multi-purpose sports community center.
A new speed skating oval is proposed for city’s western suburb of Bakarby, one of Stockholm’s fastest growing areas. Much like the Gubbangen curling venue, legacy plans include converting the facility into a multi-sport ice arena, benefiting competitive and recreational sports in the region. While a letter of intent has been provided, a binding contractual agreement with the developer still needs to be signed and the business plan further developed.
Written by Brian Pinelli
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