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Commonwealth Games

Australia's Victoria selected as host for 2026 Commonwealth Games

In 92-years of the Games' history, an entire region has been selected as the host for the Commonwealth Games as it is set to return to Victoria, Australia.

Victoria State Australia 2026 Commonwealth Games

Victoria state, Australia will host the 2026 Commonwealth Games


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 12 April 2022 7:39 AM GMT

The Commonwealth Games are set to return to Australia with regional Victoria being selected as the hosts for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, the CWG Federation confirmed.

"The Commonwealth Games Federation is absolutely delighted to award the 2026 Commonwealth Games to Victoria," president Dame Louise Martin said in a statement to UK's PA Media.

"Commonwealth Games Australia and the Victorian Government have set out a bold and innovative vision that provides an exciting new blueprint for hosting our major multi-sport event."

The Games will be staged in March 2026 across multiple cities and regional hubs including Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland, each with its own athletes' village. The opening ceremony will take place at the iconic 100,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) announced on Tuesday.

In a historic unfolding, this is the first time that the Commonwealth Games, a multi-sporting extravaganza, will be hosted by an entire region, in the Games' 92-year history. Usually, a city is selected as a host for the Games and not a region - however, things will be different in 2026.

The hosting rights for the 2026 Games was up for grabs after the English city of Birmingham replaced South Africa's Durban as host of the 2022 Games, to be held from July 28 to August 8.

With no solid bidders for the 2026 Games, Victoria was anyway considered the strong favourite after the Victorian state government entered exclusive negotiations with the Games' governing body in February 2022.

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."

The 2026 Games will be the 23rd edition of the major multi-sport competition, which first began in Hamilton, Canada in 1930. Victoria is a world-leading major events and tourism destination

Furthermore, with Victoria being selected as the regional venue, this marks the sixth time that Australia will be playing hosts to the grand sporting event. The last time the Commonwealth Games took place in Victoria was in 2006 when the city of Melbourne played hosts.

In recent history, the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games also took place in Australia where India won a whopping 66 medals - 26 gold, 20 silver, 20 bronze and finished third on the medal tally.

No shooting, wrestling at the 2026 Commonwealth Games?

An initial 16 sports, including Twenty20 cricket, have been put forward for the Games, with further sports to be added later this year.

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."

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. The country has also staged the Games in Sydney in 1938, Perth in 1962, Brisbane in 1982 and most recently Gold Coast in 2018.

Interestingly, the initial list of 16 sports for the 2026 Commonwealth Games does not include shooting and wrestling - making it a severe blow for India, if this is to be the case till the end.

Athletics and swimming have been kept mandatory and the rest are upon the host country to decide.

The state of Victoria has a strong track record for staging high profile sporting competitions including The Australian Open tennis grand slam, the Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Melbourne Cup. The state also regularly hosts elite cricket, golf and Australian Rules Football competition.

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