In April 2022, it was confirmed that Victoria will host the 2026 Commonwealth Games with towns across the state to take part in hosting events across the region.
According to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), 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.
Victoria’s submission, was created in conjunction with the CGA, by focusing 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.
This event will the 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. The Opening Ceremony will be held in Melbourne.
Not only will the Games deliver new economic opportunities with the establish of new event infrastructure, it will also deliver the double benefit of creating local jobs and housing as well as world-class sports facilities.
This will leave a legacy of affordable housing for the regions and state-of-the art sports infrastructure to attract future major events. The Games will also drive participation in sports, at both a community and professional level, throughout the State.
On top of the sporting events that will take place at the 2026 Victoria Commonwealth Games, Victoria 2026 will feature a program of cultural and business engagement experiences that bring to life the Commonwealth Games values of humanity, equality and destiny, and embrace the State’s diversity and rich cultural history.
A Victoria-wide program of live sites and activations will ensure visitors are welcomed in every corner of the State, with the Queen’s Baton Relay to traverse the regions in the weeks leading up to the Opening Ceremony.
The approach will showcase the best of what Victoria has to offer and ensure a uniquely Victorian experience for the athletes and spectators.
It is estimated that the 2026 Commonwealth Games will contribute more than $3 billion to the State’s economy, creating 7,500 jobs:
- almost 600 full-time equivalent jobs before the Games;
- 3,900 during the Games; and
- a further 3,000 beyond the Closing Ceremony.
There will be a phased approach in creating the sports programme for Victoria 2026. An initial 16 sports have been put forward for the Games, with further sports to be added later this year.
Dame Louise Martin the CGF President says that “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,” says Dame Louise Martin.
“This a very special moment for the Commonwealth Sport Family and on behalf of the entire Movement, I would like to congratulate Commonwealth Games Australia and Victoria on their successful Games submission. We now look forward to a bright future as we work together to stage a Commonwealth Games like no other,” continued Ms. Martin.
“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,” continued Ms. Martin.
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