Victoria has confirmed it will bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games after entering into exclusive negotiations.
In huge news for the region, the Victorian government has entered into exclusive negotiations to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games in the state’s regions, overuling Tasmania’s recent bid to host the event.
Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews, announced a two-month exclusivity agreement was signed with the Commonwealth Games Federation on Tuesday night, with work now underway to assess the viability of hosting with this vision delivering a model of Games unprecedented in the competition’s history.
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Andrews, alongside the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula today confirmed that, if awarded, the 2026 Commonwealth Games would return to Victoria. However, this competition would be hosted across the state, unlike the event in Melbourne in 2006.
“It’s not just about rerunning what was done back in 2006. Our vision is for this to be predominantly a regional Victorian event. It’s about taking this amazing competition across many, many different sports into regional cities and towns,” Andrews said on Wednesday.
“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.”
Victoria’s 2026 Commonwealth Games Submission will focus on a new way to host the Games, showing how events could be held in multiple locations across regional Victoria to showcase the best of what the state has to offer and ensure a uniquely Victorian experience for the athletes and spectators.
Victoria will work to deliver a world-class Commonwealth Games across Victoria that leaves a legacy for the state.
A regionally focused Commonwealth Games would expand the capacity of Victorian regional cities for major events, tourism, arts, culture and sport. Not only would the events mean new economic opportunities through event infrastructure – it would deliver the double benefit of creating local jobs and housing. The Games would also drive participation in sports at both a community and professional level, throughout the state.
A major cultural festival would accompany the 2026 Commonwealth Games that celebrates the diversity of competing nations.
Victoria is Australia’s sporting capital, hosting the first Olympic Games in the southern hemisphere in Melbourne in 1956. Our enviable calendar of major events today includes the best of world sport, with the Australian Open followed by the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, Melbourne Cup Carnival and the Boxing Day Test.
The Commonwealth Games Federation will assess this submission prior to any decision being made to award the Games to Victoria.
“This will be a game changer for regional communities across Victoria, being able to watch some of the world’s best athletes close to home,” says Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas.
“It will create lasting benefits for decades to come, with more jobs and support for businesses.”
The announcement follows reports the Commonwealth Games Federation was struggling to find a host for the 2026 games.
Read more about the state’s vision here.