Calgary may be known for its famous stampede, but it was also going to play host to another big event: the Winter X Games. While the city was slated to host the event next year, the new provincial funding cuts from Alberta's Conservative government mean there will likely be no Calgary X Games in 2020.
Calgary was announced as the host city for the X Games in March 2019, while Rachel Notley was premier and the NDP was the leading party. They had pledged $13.5 million over three years to help the city host the sporting event that features snowboarding and skiing competitions.
However, in the latest provincial budget released by Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party, that funding was no longer being made available to the city. Calgary itself was investing $5.4 million in the plan over a period of three years.
"The economic spinoffs are significant and support our plans for tourism and economic development," Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said in a statement from March 2019.
With provincial funding for the games now cut, the 2020 X Games will likely not be taking place. However, Mayor Nenshi had previously expressed in June that it was possible the games would not be in the city until 2021.
Province pulls $13.5-million funding and that might kill Calgary's hope's of hosting X Games. https://t.co/QbjnEVYE3D— Harold Pliszka (@Harold Pliszka)1572175126.0
"I want to remind everyone that the X Games is a multi-year prospect," Nenshi said, according to the Calgary Herald. "The hope is to start in 2020, but there was always the consideration that it might have to start in 2021."
Calgary city councillor Ward Sutherland had said in March 2019 that he wanted Calgary to have more going on than just the stampede.
Manifesto and @insightprod have secured the exclusive rights for Calgary to host the first-ever X Games in Canada a… https://t.co/Fjl9cxXPS1— Manifesto (@Manifesto)1552504300.0
"We want this to be permanent. We want to be a two-event city," Sutherland said, according to Global News, "so we’d have the Stampede during the summer and the X Games during the winter."
The week continues, secured rights to the X Games for 3 years. Big step for YYC becoming a two event city ! Stampe… https://t.co/bl5tniAFcL— Ward Sutherland (@Ward Sutherland)1552489926.0
However, Sutherland no longer seems to think that the 2020 games can take place in the city without proper funding from the province.
"It’s definitely too late for 2020," Sutherland told the Calgary Herald. "I’m not sure we have the funds available."
Narcity has reached out to Tourism Calgary, the Mayor of Calgary, and the X Games for comment and we will update the article should we receive relevant information.
Disclaimer: Cover photo used for illustrative purposes only.