Sweden’s Olympic leaders: Taxpayers won’t foot bill for 2026

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden’s Olympic leaders have tried to assure Stockholm’s newly formed local government that the city’s taxpayers will not be asked to foot the bill for the 2026 Winter Games.

Stockholm’s bid to host the games is at risk after lawmakers in the new coalition running the city highlighted their concerns about spending taxpayer money on the event.

Mats Arjes, chairman of the Swedish Olympic Committee, says “we have not approached the notion of tax-based funding or any financial guarantees whatsoever” for the operating costs of the games. He says the only financial guarantee required would be for “national security,” which was already tax funded.

Stockholm’s bid team says 90 percent of the venues that would be used for the games already exist, and that only a new ice rink and a skiing venue need to be built.

There are two other candidates for the 2026 Olympics: Calgary, Canada, and the combined Italian bid of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo. A vote of IOC members is scheduled in June.