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Regional Victoria Front Runner To Host 2026 Commonwealth Games

Regional Victoria Front Runner To Host 2026 Commonwealth Games

The events would take place all over Victoria.

Vivienne Kelly

Vivienne Kelly

Various locations across Victoria could play host to the Commonwealth Games in four years' time.

While it's not yet a done deal, the Victorian Government has signed a Heads of Agreement with the Commonwealth Games Federation and Commonwealth Games Australia to enter exclusive negotiations about delivering the event.

Should the negotiations be successful, it would 'deliver a model of Games unprecedented in the competition's history', the State Government said.

The submission will focus on a new way to host the Games, showcasing how events could be held in multiple locations across regional Victoria.

Initially, an alliance of regional Victorian centres - including Shepparton, Bendigo, Geelong, Traralgon, Ballarat, Warrnambool, Nagambie, Wodonga and Yarrawonga - had launched a campaign for Greater Victoria to host the following Games, in 2030.


This appears to have been brought forward, however, as the host of the upcoming games, just a matter of years away, has still not been determined.

Various cities, including England's Liverpool and Canada's Edmonton, had expressed interest in being the host city, but for various reasons did not pursue their bids.

The UK's Birmingham was also interested, however they now have the upcoming 2022 Games after South Africa's Durban was stripped of its rights in 2017.

At the time, the Commonwealth Games Foundation said the South African city had failed to meet its bid's promises and could no longer host the 2022 Games.

After the 2022 turmoil unfolded, the host for the 2026 Games, along with the host of the 2030 Games, was supposed to be announced at the Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly in Rwanda back in 2019.

This was then delayed until 2020 and then again until 2022.

It's not just Durban that's had its issues delivering the Games in recent years.

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

The 2010 Delhi Games cost a reported $15 billion and the event was plagued by a corruption scandal.

Yet Premier Andrews said the Games would leave a legacy for the state to enjoy in years to come.

"These will be games like no others and that will be great for regional Victoria, great for the state, for jobs, for investments, for confidence," he said.

"Victoria is Australia's sporting state, and, if awarded, the 2026 Commonwealth Games would demonstrate to the world a new way to deliver the competition," he added.

Despite the promised upsides, Andrews reiterated that so far, nothing is binding.

"If at the end of it we decide not to go forward, then we don't go forward," he said.

"But we're confident. We wouldn't sign it if we didn't think we could get an outcome."

Melbourne hosted the Commonwealth Games back in 2006 and the Gold Coast played host in 2018, while Brisbane is due to hold the 2032 Summer Olympics.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: SPORT, News, Australia