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Commonwealth Games coming back to Australia with Victoria 2026 set to be a Games-Changer – and accelerates a Green and Gold runway for the decade

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Victoria will host the 2026 Commonwealth Games with towns across the State set to deliver the sixth Home-Games in Australia. Sixteen sports and locations have already been named in the initial phase of the 2026 Games program.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has confirmed that the 2026 Commonwealth Games will be hosted by the State of Victoria.

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.

The CGF, CGA and Victoria entered an exclusive dialogue period in February 2022. The CGF and CGA visited Victoria later that month. This was followed by a Victoria 2026 delegation presenting their 2026 Games proposal to the CGF Executive Board in Birmingham, England in March 2022. After careful consideration, CGF Executive Board has approved the proposal, with the Host Contract to be signed in Ballarat today.

The proposal capitalises on the CGF’s 2026/30 Strategic Roadmap, which provides unprecedented flexibility to be innovative and creative in delivering the Games.

Victoria’s submission, developed in conjunction with CGA, centred 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.

In what will be a 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.

Melbourne will host the Opening Ceremony.

Not only will the Games deliver new economic opportunities through event infrastructure – it will 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.

Beyond the field of play, 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.

CGF President Dame Louise Martin said: “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.

“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.”

“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.”

Commonwealth Games Australia President Ben Houston said CGA had been seeking a host for 2026 and worked closely the CGF for the past two years to bring the Commonwealth Games back to Australia.

“Commonwealth Games Australia is thrilled to welcome the athletes of the Commonwealth back to Australia and we look forward to working with both the CGF and the Victorian Government to bring the Games to life across Victoria in 2026.

“A home Games will provide immeasurable benefits for our Member sports and will inspire our athletes in what will be a unique and exciting Games.

“More than that, the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games will play a key role in the development of Australian sport at all levels.

“We will have three editions of the Commonwealth Games in the lead up to the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane.

“Three ‘Home-Games’ for our athletes and sports in six years, plus the additional benefit of World Cup’s and World Championship events that will be held in Victoria and across Australia.

“It will be a ‘Green and Gold’ festival for a decade.”:

Together with the Australian Olympic Committee, our collective long-term vision of how sport can power Australia’s future has been outlined in the Sport: Powering Australia’s Future (10+10) submission to the 2021 Intergenerational Report, and is already being delivered.

The 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria will be the accelerator to supercharge these unique opportunities in Victoria and the whole country across the next decade and the 10 years after that,” Mr Houston said.

 Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews said: “It’s a great honour to have Victoria chosen as the host venue for the 2026 Commonwealth Games – we can’t wait to welcome the world to all of our state.”

“The Commonwealth Games in regional Victoria is great for jobs, hospitality and our economy.”

The 2026 Games will be the 23rd edition of the major multi-sport competition, which first began in Hamilton, Canada in 1930.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games will be staged in Birmingham, England from 28 July – 8 August 2022 where Australia is expected to be represented by 425 athletes across all 21 sports.

 

Victoria 2026: Initial 16 sports on the Games programme*

Sport Proposed Location
Aquatics (Swimming, Para-Swimming and Diving) Geelong
Athletics & Para-Athletics Ballarat
Badminton Gippsland
Boxing Ballarat
Beach Volleyball Geelong
Cricket T20 Geelong, Gippsland, Ballarat, Bendigo
Cycling Gippsland to Bendigo
Gymnastics Geelong
Hockey Geelong
Lawn Bowls & Para-Lawn Bowls Bendigo
Netball Bendigo
Rugby 7s Gippsland
Squash Bendigo
Table Tennis & Para-Table Tennis Geelong
Triathlon & Para-Triathlon Geelong
Weightlifting and Para-Powerlifting Bendigo

* Further sports to be added in late 2022.

Follow the progress of Victoria 2026 via social media at:

  • @VictoriaCG2026 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn
  • #Vic2026CG #Vic2026CommGames

For more information, and to express interest in being involved, visit www.vic.gov.au/victoria2026

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