Milan-Cortina's 2026 Games to rely on existing infrastructure – master plan features one new venue
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Milan-Cortina's 2026 Games to rely on existing infrastructure – master plan features one new venue

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The Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will rely largely on existing venues.

Out of the 12 competition venues, nine are existing facilities, while two will be temporary builds.

Only one of the competition venues will be built for the Games – an indoor, multi-use arena in the Santa Giulia district of Milan.

During the Games, the venue will stage ice hockey matches. It will be built by property companies Risanamento and Lendlease and operated in partnership by Oak View Group and Live Nation.

As well as all the ice hockey games, the city of Milan will also host all skating competition, while most alpine skiing events will take place in Cortina d'Ampezzo, more than 100 miles away.

Some snow sports events will also be held at Bormio and Livigno.

Milan-Cortina was selected to host the Games which during the 134th IOC Session held in Lausanne, Switzerland on 24 June. The bid received 47 out of a total of the 82 votes cast by IOC members, with rival bid Stockholm-Åre receiving 34 votes, with one abstention.

The bids from Stockholm and Milan were the first candidature files produced since the Olympic Agenda 2020/The New Norm was approved by the IOC Session in February 2018 – designed to "deliver substantial benefits to the cities and their projects".

There has been an emphasis on lowering the costs of hosting Games and IOC has conceded that cities should be allowed to use existing infrastructure, rather than invest in expensive, new Olympic stadiums and facilities.

This led to the two bid plans for 2026 using nearly 90 per cent existing or temporary venues, compared to 60 per cent among the candidates for the Olympic Winter Games 2018 and 2022.

In addition, the initial Games operating costs projected by Stockholm and Milan were around 20 per cent (approximately US$400m) lower than those in the two previous candidature processes.

Speaking after the result was announced, Giovanni Malagò, IOC member and president of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), said: “This is a very, very important result for the whole country.

"In particular, I am really proud of this fantastic team that we created together.

"Initially it was quite complicated. What we have done this afternoon represents perfectly the images of my country. Thanks to all of you.”

IOC President Thomas Bach added: “Congratulations to Milan-Cortina for this victory.

"For the IOC, this is a great day. We have the Olympic Winter Games 2026 in a traditional winter sports country with great experience in winter sport, with passionate fans and great athletes.

“With this project aligned with Olympic Agenda 2020, we have seen how we can also lower the complexity of the Games and how this can be addressed in a better way, and how the use of existing facilities is facilitating sustainability and legacy goals. In this respect, the candidature of Milan-Cortina stood out with 93 per cent use of existing or temporary facilities.

“With this enthusiasm we have seen there, and with this great support of the Italians, the foundation is laid and therefore excellent preparations; and in this respect, this is not only a victory for Milan-Cortina, it is a victory for the Italian sports fans who have so greatly supported the Olympic Games: their great athletes."

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The Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will rely largely on existing venues.
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