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'Acting for change’

19 July 2022

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Regional Victoria announced as host of 2026 Commonwealth Games

Tuesday 12 April 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Regional

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Regional Victoria announced as host of 2026 Commonwealth Games
Victoria will host the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Pictured is a young Australian fan with their national flag. SUPPLIED/ 22041104

Victoria will host the 2026 Commonwealth Games with towns across the State set to deliver the sixth Home-Games in Australia.

Sixteen sports and locations have already been named in the initial phase of the 2026 Games programme.

Cook Islands Commonwealth Games Association president and Commonwealth Games Federation Oceania regional vice president Hugh Graham welcomed the announcement, saying that it was “A1 Meitaki” that the 2026 Commonwealth Games would be right on our doorstep.

“These will not only be Victoria State, Australia’s Games, it will be Oceania’s Games.  The Australian CGA, under the leadership of president Ben Houston and secretary general Craig Phillips need to be thanked alongside the team from the Commonwealth Games Federation, under the presidency of Dame Louise Martin,” Graham said.

“We are set for some great games right here in Oceania, the Pacific Games in Solomon Islands and Tahiti, 2026 Commonwealth Games and the 2032 Olympic Games in Australia right here in our own backyard.”

The Victoria 2026 Games will be a Games-changer for the Commonwealth Sport Movement with a vision to deliver an innovative and flexible model for the Games that is unprecedented in the event’s history.

The announcement follows a successful exclusive dialogue period between the CGF, Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) and Victoria, where an exciting proposal to stage the major multi-sport competition across the State was agreed.

The CGF, CGA and Victoria entered an exclusive dialogue period in February 2022. The CGF and CGA visited Victoria later that month. This was followed by a Victoria 2026 delegation presenting their 2026 Games proposal to the CGF Executive Board in Birmingham, England in March 2022. After careful consideration, CGF Executive Board has approved the proposal, with the Host Contract to be signed in Ballarat today.

The proposal capitalises on the CGF’s 2026/30 Strategic Roadmap, which provides unprecedented flexibility to be innovative and creative in delivering the Games.

Victoria’s submission, developed in conjunction with CGA, centred on a regionally focused Commonwealth Games that will expand the capacity of regional cities in Victoria to deliver major events linking tourism, arts, culture and sport.

In what will be a first-ever predominantly regional Commonwealth Games, Victoria 2026 will be staged in March 2026 across multiple cities and regional hubs including Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland.

Melbourne will host the opening ceremony.

It is estimated that the 2026 Commonwealth Games will contribute more than A$3 billion to the State’s economy, creating 7500 jobs:

  • almost 600 full-time equivalent jobs before the Games;
  • 3900 during the Games; and
  • a further 3,000 beyond the closing ceremony.

CGF president Dame Louise Martin said: “The Commonwealth Games Federation is absolutely delighted to award the 2026 Commonwealth Games to Victoria. Commonwealth Games Australia and the Victorian Government have set out a bold and innovative vision for hosting our major multi-sport event. In Victoria, we believe we have found the perfect partner for the next stage of our journey.”

“Australia has staged the Commonwealth Games on five occasions, with Victoria playing host to the Melbourne 2006 Games; widely considered one of the most successful editions of the event in history. Australia also staged the Games in Sydney in 1938, Perth in 1962, Brisbane in 1982 and most recently Gold Coast in 2018. Victoria has also hosted the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo in 2004.”

The 2026 Games will be the 23rd edition of the major multi-sport competition, which first began in Hamilton, Canada in 1930.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games will be staged in Birmingham, England from 28 July – 8 August 2022.