Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

Councillors in Calgary have delayed a decision on holding a referendum for their proposed 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic bid.

A vote to postpone the verdict on a possible ballot until April 10 was approved at a meeting in the Canadian city.

It means councillors will have more details and information available when making their final ruling next month.

Calgary's Councillors had already voted to continue to explore a bid for the 2026 Games and provide financial support, but this only passed by a narrow margin.

Eight voted in favour with six against, with the supporters including Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

It means that CAD$2.5 million (£1.3 million/$1.9 million/€1.5 million) will be provided to establish a Bid Committee in Calgary if the Olympic effort goes ahead, on the understanding that similar support would come from Government authorities.

A successful bid would see the Winter Olympics return to Calgary after they played host in 1988.

"I think it's important when we're going onto something as large and potentially explosive as the Olympics, we should get as much public engagement as we can and I think a plebiscite would be simple," said Councillor Peter Demong, according to the Calgary Herald.

John Furlong, the head of the Organising Committee when Canada last held the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010, backed the decision to take care over a potential referendum and to not rush the process.

"I think you have to have all the information," Furlong said, according to the Calgary Herald

Vancouver 2010 Organising Committee head John Furlong backed Calgary's stance  ©Getty Images
Vancouver 2010 Organising Committee head John Furlong backed Calgary's stance  ©Getty Images

"To put a question to people without proper information and real costs and real data - I can't imagine that you'd put that to the voters and think that that's acceptable.

"I think you'd want the voters to know absolutely everything if you were going to put it to a vote. 

"Otherwise, I think you'll get a result that is probably a bit misleading."

Vancouver held their own referendum in 2003 with 64 per cent of people supporting pursuing a bid.

Referendums have caused Olympic bids to collapse in recent years, however, including in Innsbruck for the 2026 race.

Countries interested in bidding for 2026 must inform the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of their interest by March 31.

Sion in Switzerland, Stockholm in Sweden, Sapporo in Japan, Erzurum in Turkey and Graz and Schladming in Austria are other contenders in the 2026 race.

An Italian bid from Milan or Turin is also increasingly possible.

The United States are expected to enter the race, but with a focus on 2030.

After March 31, bidders will plan more details about their bid before the IOC Session votes to decide the official candidates in October.

A host should then be chosen next year.