VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The idea of a B.C. bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics is backed by a slim majority of British Columbians.
A poll from Insights West finds 55 per cent support the initiative, which is being promoted by the man behind the 2010 Vancouver Games, John Furlong.
That support jumps much higher if the games were to be held without taxpayers footing the bill, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility, according to Insights West President Steve Mossop.
“Here’s where it’s different than 2010 – we already have about 80 per cent of the infrastructure in place for an Olympic bid in 2030,” he tells NEWS 1130.
“If you think of the Richmond Oval, if you think of the luge track, if you think of all of the things that were put in place when the 2010 bid came to fruition, it means that there is likely less need for public money than there was at that point in the past.”
A slim majority polled back the idea of a BC bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics, many feeling there would be social and economic benefits. It jumps to 77% support if games were to be held without any public funding, relying on remaining infrastructure from the 2010 games. pic.twitter.com/XRbTGoaHJh
— Mike Lloyd (@llikemoyd) May 7, 2021
Mossop says 77 per cent of respondents support the prospect of a bid for the 2030 Olympics if no public funding was necessary.
Regardless of support or opposition to the games, the poll finds most British Columbians believe the major sporting event would bring significant economic and social benefits to the province in 2030.
A large majority believe hosting the games would create valuable jobs (83%), provide a post-COVID-19 boost to tourism (80%), provide excitement about something to look forward to (78%), provide a boost to the economy (76%), and result in infrastructure that would be used for years to come (76%).
The major reason for any opposition to the 2030 Winter Olympic bid is the belief it would interfere with other spending priorities. The vast majority (85%) of those who oppose a bid feel that the cost to taxpayers would be too high; a similar number believe the money should be spent on other things (80%). About half (48%) of those in opposition feel the bid effort is misplaced — that the focus should continue to be on the pandemic right now.
“This early polling suggests that despite being in the middle of a pandemic, there is public support, and that British Columbians are aware of the social and economic benefits of hosting Olympic Games,” adds Mossop.
“Last time around, there was early initial public hesitation to supporting the games which increased dramatically though the years culminating in the Canadian men’s hockey gold medal game and record-breaking medal haul. B.C. residents have fond memories of the 2010 games, and I’m sure that is part of the reason public support is so high at this point.”