Could Ahmedabad host the 2026 Commonwealth Games?
The Australian city of Victoria has backed out of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games. India had been one of the countries to have unsuccessfully bid for the 2026 CWG.
India has emerged as surprise contenders to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games three years down the line. This comes after the Australian city of Victoria backed out of hosting the Games due to financial constraints.
India is a Commonwealth nation that had previously hosted CWG in 2010. India had also unsuccessfully bid for hosting rights for the 2026 edition, losing out to Australia. "We have decided to make a bid for 2026 or 2030 Commonwealth Games and we have also decided to send our contingent to Birmingham for the 2022 Games," IOA secretary general Rajiv Mehta had told PTI in 2019.
However, talks of India hosting the 2026 CWG had died down and instead focus had shifted to Ahmedabad bidding for the 2036 Olympics.
However, with Australia having backed out with just three years left for the next CWG, India could step in.
"The projects of Ahmedabad's bid for the 2036 Olympics will be completed by 2026. Following the development of Victoria pulling out of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Gujarat is confident that it will get a nod from the Union government to make a bid for the 2026 Games at Ahmedabad," sources in the Gujarat government told The Times of India on Wednesday.
Ahmedabad as an Olympic venue
The last few years have seen the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat being forwarded as a venue fit to host world-class sporting events.
The 132,000-capacity Motera Stadium - the largest sports stadium in the world - has been touted as the venue for the Opening Ceremony and athletics events.
During the inauguration of the Narendra Modi stadium in February, Union home minister Amit Shah had said that the Sardar Patel sports complex -- where the stadium is located -- will be developed in such a way that it can host Olympic games and other international games in future.
"The sports complex at Motera of which Narendra Modi stadium is a part and the new sports complex at Naranpura will help Ahmedabad to host any international event like the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games or Olympics," Shah had said.
The home minister has been reportedly personally involved in ensuring that sports infrastructure, including lodging facilities for participating athletes and coaches, are built as per the Olympic standards.
Effort is also being put in to develop places for water and mountain sports in the state.