Most voters in canton Valais oppose the idea of allocating CHF100 million ($100 million) towards the Sion 2026 Winter Olympics bid, an opinion poll shows.
A total of 58% of people questioned said they would vote “no” or “probably no” in an upcoming vote on the funding of the Sion 2026 Winter Olympics bid. This compared with 42% who said they would vote “yes” or “probably yes”, according to a poll conducted by the research institute Sotomoexternal link, on behalf of Swiss public television, RTS. Two per cent of voters were undecided.
On June 10, voters in canton Valais have a crucial say on Sion 2026 funding in a local referendum. The question being put before them is whether canton Valais should allocate CHF100 million for the Sion bid – CHF60 million for infrastructure and CHF40 million for security. Since funding is key, the outcome of the cantonal vote is likely to be decisive.
The poll, published on Tuesday, showed that only 32% of women back the funding idea, compared to 49% of men. There are no big differences across age groups. However, there is more support for the Olympic project in the Upper Valais region (48% in favour), compared to French-speaking parts of the canton (39% in favour).
Support was low among people on the left and right of the political spectrum, while opinions were split among those in the centre. The key argument for opponents was the high cost of holding the Games (60% of those questioned), while fans of the Sion 2026 project felt it would put Valais on the world stage (33% of those questioned).
A poll released earlier this month showed the “yes” and “no” votes running neck and neck.
The Swiss Olympic Committee and the Swiss government are backing a joint proposal by Sion, the capital of canton Valais, to host the 2026 Winter Games. The sporting event would spread across four cantons – Valais, Vaud, Bern and Fribourg – and mostly make use of already existing infrastructure. Last October, the Swiss government promised to contribute almost CHF1 billion ($1 billion) if it is chosen.