Austrian cities Graz, Schladming consider 2026 Olympics bid

Austria's Marcel Hirscher competes during an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom in Schladming, Austria, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)

Austrian cities Graz, Schladming consider 2026 Olympics bid after Innsbruck's plans failed in referendum

SCHALDMING, Austria — Two cities in the Austrian province of Styria are exploring the possibility of hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics, three months after a potential bid from Innsbruck was rejected by inhabitants of Tyrol.

Graz and Schladming said on Tuesday they are working on a financial plan to be presented in March, followed by a feasibility study and an infrastructural concept in June. Schladming Mayor Jurgen Winter said no referendum would be held.

In October, Innsbruck dropped plans to bid for the 2026 Olympics after more than 53 percent of the citizens in Tyrol voted against.

Candidate host cities for 2026 must have sent a letter of intent to the IOC by the end of March and present their final concept in September. The hosting rights will be awarded in 2019.

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