The 2026 Commonwealth Games has been cancelled in Victoria

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The 2026 Commonwealth Games has been cancelled in Victoria

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Shayna Jack, Bronte Campbell, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell celebrate after breaking the world record for the Womens 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay during Swimming at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games on April 05, 2018. (Photo by Michael Willson)

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed that Victoria will no longer host the Commonwealth Games in 2026.

The Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games have officially been cancelled with the premier today (18 July) confirming Victoria will no longer host the games due to financial issues.

Andrews revealed that the 2026 Commonwealth Games could cost as high as $7bn.

“The games will not proceed in Victoria in 2026,” Andrews said.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here.

“What’s become clear is that the cost of hosting these games in 2026 is not the $2.6bn which was budgeted and allocated … it is in fact at least $6bn and could be as high as $7bn.

“I will not take money out of hospitals and schools in order to fund an event that is three times the cost estimated and budgeted for last year.”

“The main reason we agreed to host the Games was to create a big lasting benefit for our regions – with more housing, boosts to tourism and sporting infrastructure upgrades.”

To make up for the loss, the premier has announced a $2 billion spending package for regional Victoria, which was to act as a boost for facilities in the host centres.

That money includes a $1 billion Regional Housing Fund to build 1,300 new homes across regional Victoria.

The government also revealed it is committed to improving sporting facilities across regional Victoria and says the planned upgrades that were to accompany the Games will still go ahead, including the likes of Eureka Stadium in Ballarat and upgrades to Bendigo Stadium.

The premier also confirmed the games would not be moved to a city like Melbourne, with costs still too high.

“We have looked at every conceivable option. All of them are far in excess of the $2.6 billion that’s been budgeted, so all of them represent more cost than there is benefit, and on that basis none of those options stack up and we’re not going to be hosting the games in 2026.”

The Commonwealth Games were originally scheduled to be held between 17-29 March 2026, beginning with the Opening Ceremony at the Melbourne Cricket Ground where athletes and visitors from around Australia and the world would gather to celebrate the start of the Games.

In what was to be a Commonwealth Games first, Victoria 2026 was to introduce a multi-city model that delivered global sport to four regional hubs in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland. Each of those hubs was to have its own athletes’ village and host a range of sports that will create a legacy for Victoria that extends well beyond the competition period.

You can keep up with the latest news from the Commonwealth Games here