3 min read

Gold Coast Mayor makes bid to rescue 2026 Commonwealth Games


Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has announced ambitious plans to salvage the 2026 Commonwealth Games, following the withdrawal of Victoria as the host in July.

Mayor Tate held discussions with Commonwealth Games Australia CEO Craig Phillips and representatives from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on Monday to explore the possibility of Gold Coast – which staged the 2018 edition of the event – stepping in as the new host.

An official pitch for the Games may be presented at the upcoming CGF General Assembly in Singapore, scheduled from November 11-14. However, a potential hurdle lies in gaining support from the Queensland Government.

“I’ve just concluded a very positive meeting with the CGF,” Mayor Tate stated.

“Mr. Phillips agrees that the Gold Coast is an excellent option for hosting the Games.”

Victoria pulled out as host of the 2026 Games, with then-Premier Daniel Andrews citing a ballooning budget of AUD$7 billion. Mayor Tate has outlined a streamlined project that he believes would cost only AUD$700 million. This revised approach is aimed at safeguarding Australia’s reputation.

“It is heartening for us to have a frank discussion regarding hosting the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast,” Tate said.

“Of course there is a bit of a journey to do but the key point is this: we want to salvage Australia’s reputation.

“Because in future years, nobody will remember Daniel Andrews and the Victorian Government, they will say ‘the Aussies are the ones who cancelled the 2026 Commonwealth Games’.”

Mayor Tate emphasised the economic benefits of hosting the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, estimating that it could inject AUD$2 billion into the local economy. The existing infrastructure from the successful 2018 Games would minimise the need for additional construction, making the event a potential dress rehearsal for the Brisbane 2032 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

“I showed them our preliminary business case which proves that a scaled-down 2026 Games can be held on the Coast for around $700 million,” Tate explained.

“This is a $2 billion-plus gift to the economy at no monetary cost to Queensland, apart from in-kind support at the time.”

Support from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will be essential, as the state had previously expressed its focus on Brisbane 2032. Queensland Sports Minister Stirling Hinchliffe had strongly opposed the idea of hosting the Commonwealth Games again.

Despite these challenges, Mayor Tate’s determined bid to revive the 2026 Commonwealth Games has received some support. Victoria’s Deputy Premier Ben Carroll has offered assistance to the Gold Coast’s efforts.

The CGF welcomes any interest in hosting the 2026 Games, given concerns about the event’s future following Victoria’s withdrawal. The economic benefits of a minimal investment leading to a significant return could make Gold Coast an attractive option.

Mayor Tate’s plan represents a beacon of hope for the Commonwealth Games, and the journey ahead will involve further discussions and negotiations to ensure the Games’ future in Australia. The specifics of the streamlined Games plan are yet to be disclosed.

It's free to join the team!

Join the most engaged community in the Sports Business World.

Get all the latest news, insights, data, education and event updates.