Calgary previously hosted the Winter Games in 1988 ©Getty Images

Calgary residents will get an updated estimate on how much hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will cost next month, a key official has claimed, while insisting that any referendum on the potential bid will be binding.

The updated estimate will state how much money the Federal and Provincial Governments are prepared to spend on hosting the Games.

In 2017, the Bid Exploration Committee, which has so far spent CAD$5.2 million (£3 million/$4 million/€3.4 million) on exploring the possibility of the bid, estimated that the Games would cost $4.6 billion (£2.6 billion/€3.6 billion/€3 billion).

However, that budget could be revised in June.

As reported by CBC, Evan Woolley, chair of the City's Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Oversight Committee, said: "I would expect that Calgarians are going to have a very clear idea of the operating costs and the capital costs.

"We need to balance that with the competitiveness of our bid.

"We know that we can do all of the work on the capital and operating side, right?

"On the funding side, we can ask and push but it is dependent on other members' timelines."

Evan Woolley has said locals will have the final say on a Calgary bid for the 2026 Games ©Evan Woolley
Evan Woolley has said locals will have the final say on a Calgary bid for the 2026 Games ©Evan Woolley

Woolley confirmed that locals would have the final say on whether the city will proceed with its bid, should a vote take place.

A successful attempt would bring the Games back to the Canadian city after they played host in 1988.

"The plebiscite will be the final arbiter of whether we make a decision to do this or not," he said according to The Star.

Woolley also said voters would have a "very, very clear understanding" of the costs associated with the Olympics before holding the vote, which is projected to cost about CAD$2 million (£1.2 million/$1.5 million/€1.3 million).

It could take place between October and February 2019 but would only be held if the City Council commit to pressing on with the plans.

One thing that will not help organisers in the referendum is a report that has emerged which claims bid staff have been underfunded.

As reported by the Calgary Herald, a council committee meeting was told that city staff have been "working long hours to meet key deadlines on the Olympic file, including the completion of a draft budget with forecast capital and operational costs for hosting the Games that will come to council in June".

Calgary City Manager Jeff Fielding said: "We are under-resourced, significantly under-resourced."

Sion in Switzerland, Graz in Austria, Sapporo in Japan, Erzurum in Turkey and Stockholm in Sweden are among the other contenders for the 2026 Winter Olympics, as well as a joint Italian bid from Milan, Turin and Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Sion in Switzerland must also face a referendum.

A host city is due to be chosen by the International Olympic Committee in 2019.