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Victoria Enters Exclusive 2026 Commonwealth Games Negotiations


The Commonwealth Games are likely to return to Victoria in 2026 after Premier, Daniel Andrews, confirmed the state government has entered exclusive negotiations with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA).

The confirmation means the three parties have signed a Heads of Agreement, meaning the Victorian Government will now work with the CGF and CGA to develop an official 2026 Commonwealth Games submission to assess the viability of hosting the event.

The plan is to heavily feature regional Victoria, with the state government having two months to prove the host cities are viable locations for different events.

Originally, Durban was chosen to host the 2022 Games, before Birmingham, who was originally scheduled to host the 2026 event, stepped in due to Durban being behind schedule, leaving the CGF with the task of finding a new host for the 2026 edition.

Melbourne emerged as a possible host last month, with 2006 being the last time Victoria hosted the event, but the value of the Commonwealth Games was questioned by pundits with the CGF willing to award the hosting rights unopposed.

The CGF ramped up their discussions for 2026 hosting rights with multiple countries after the release of the 2026/30 Strategic Roadmap in October 2021, but ultimately landed on Victoria as the new roadmap encourages hosts to create an innovative and creative edition of the Games.

Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, told the ABC even though Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo would be classified as ‘self-starters’ that have facilities to host events, other regional locations would need infrastructure funding.

“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,” Andrews said.

“We would hope to have the majority of events in our regional cities – to display the best of Victoria, create jobs and housing and infrastructure that will deliver for the long term,” he said.

Discussing the agreement, CGF president, Dame Louise Martin, said: “Following months of positive discussions, it is clear that Victoria has an exciting vision for a future Games which will provide many benefits for the community whilst leaving a significant legacy for the state…”

“Victoria is one of the world’s greatest sporting states and there is no doubt it has the venues, infrastructure, and people to stage a world class edition of the Games.

“We are very excited to be working closely with Victoria and Commonwealth Games Australia to explore the potential staging of the event in the state,” Martin said.

Victoria was previously in the running to host the 2030 Commonwealth Games, with 11 regional cities and towns launching a joint campaign for Greater Victoria.

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