2026 Commonwealth Games

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XXIII Commonwealth Games
2026 Commonwealth Games interim logo.png
Interim Logo of the 2026 Commonwealth Games
HostVictoria, Australia
Nations participating74 commonwealth nations (expected)
Athletes participating5,000
Opening ceremony17 March 2026
Closing ceremony29 March 2026
Main venueKardinia Park, Geelong
Eureka Stadium, Ballarat
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne (Opening Ceremony)
WebsiteVictoria 2026 Website
← XXII
XXIV →

The 2026 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XXIII Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Victoria 2026, is a multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth scheduled to take place across four regional sites in the Australian state of Victoria: Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland. The opening ceremonies will be held in the state capital Melbourne at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. In a departure from previous Commonwealth Games, the event will not be held in one major city but will be hosted by the state and held across a number of regional cities outside the capital.[1] The Games will take place over twelve days between 17 and 29 March 2026.[2]

The host city was initially intended to be selected at the 2019 Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda.[3] On 16 June 2019, the CGF confirmed that it would decide the host city in 2020, but the lack of interest from cities and the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the announcement.[4] In December 2021, the CGF reported that it would announce a host some time in March 2022; however, Victoria was announced as the host on 12 April 2022,[5] after two months of an exclusive dialogue process with the CGF.[6][7]

Host selection[edit]

During the CGF General Assembly on 31 March 2017 in Gold Coast, after the troubled 2022 Commonwealth Games host city bid process, the executive board announced that it had planned to award both 2026 and 2030 Commonwealth Games simultaneously at the CGF General Assembly scheduled for Kigali, Rwanda in September 2019. A new model called CGF Partnerships (CGFP) was implemented. This aims to give stronger support to the associations and cities that show interests in hosting future Games, and enhance the overall value of the event. This is similar to the process used by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 2017.[8][9] In January 2022 the Victorian State Government announced it was giving serious consideration to a late request from the CGF to host the Games. On 16 February 2022, Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews confirmed that the state was in exclusive negotiations with the CGF to host the Games.[10] It was stated that if successful in hosting the Games a second time, a Victorian bid would aim to emphasise the state's regional centres—such as Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo—as opposed to being predominantly Melbourne-based, such as in 2006. Bendigo had previously hosted the 2004 Commonwealth Youth Games. Acceptance of the bid will likely also be conditional upon agreement on ways to control costs, such as housing athletes and officials in hotels rather than a dedicated village.[11][12] This bid was confirmed as successful on 12 April 2022.[13]

2026 Commonwealth Games bidding results
Region Nation Votes
Victoria Australia Australia Unanimous

Development and preparations[edit]

In May 2022 the Victorian State Government allocated $2.6 billion to deliver the Commonwealth Games in the years leading to 2026.[14] This money will be used to build housing, infrastructure and athletes hubs in each of the four regional sites.[15] The Andrews Government said that the priority was to use existing facilities as much as possible, with spending concentrated on supporting infrastructure.[15] The games are to be held in March to avoid clashes with the Australian Football League calendar in Melbourne.[15] In June 2022 the State Government announced Jeroen Weimar had been appointed chief executive of the 2026 Games organising committee.[16][17] Weimar is a public servant who rose to prominence as the state's COVID-19 Commander in charge of the pandemic response, and had previously served as the CEO of Public Transport Victoria.[18]

Venue construction and renovations[edit]

While little is known of the exact venues which will be constructed or upgraded for the games, several potential and interim facilities have been discussed, including an upgraded Eureka Stadium, which will likely have its seated capacity brought up from 5,127 to approximately 20,000, with temporary grandstands expanding it to 30,000 for the games. New lighting for the stadium as well as the addition of a nearby permanent athletics track are also expected for the upgrades.[19]

In Geelong, the City Hall has identified the construction of a new indoor arena to host the gymnastics and table tennis events as a "priority project". Additionally, the Geelong deputy mayor Trent Sullivan has hinted at several possible venues for the games, including using Eastern Beach as a venue for triathlon and beach volleyball, the newly redeveloped Kardinia Park for cricket T20, and new or upgraded facilities to host aquatics.[20] In July 2022 the state government announced that Stead Park in Corio, a suburb of Geelong, would be upgraded to host the hockey events and have a capacity of 15,000 using a mix of permanent and temporary seating. It is to receive two new international-standard hockey pitches and is planned to become the state's premier field hockey facility.[21]

Shepparton has also been discussed as another host city for the games, although no events accredited to the town have been stated on the initial list of venues.

Infrastructure[edit]

It is expected that the Midland Highway, which links four host cities (Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Shepparton) will receive upgrades in time for the games, with the possibility of a new northern train station to be constructed in Ballarat adjacent to Eureka Stadium.[19]

An athlete's village will be built in the four host cities, with the villages to be converted to social and affordable housing after the Games.[13][15]

Sports[edit]

Under new rules designed to encourage cities to bid for the Commonwealth Games, the CGF required only two sports must be played in future Games: athletics and swimming.[22] Despite this, sixteen sports were agreed to for the 2026 Victorian Games, with a further seven the subject of discussion between the governing bodies and the Victorian Government.[22] The list includes T20 cricket, for which a women's tournament was held at Birmingham 2022, alongside the following: swimming and diving, athletics, badminton, boxing, beach volleyball, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby sevens, squash, table tennis, triathlon and weightlifting.[23] In April 2022 the Indian Olympic Association demanded that the 2026 Games also include archery, shooting and wrestling.[23] The final list of sports is expected to be announced by the end of 2022.[22] In July 2022 the State Government announced that they opened an expressions of interest process for the inclusion of sports beyond the initial 16 planned.[2][24]

The current list of disciplines, with the number of events in each discipline noted in the brackets, is:

Venues[edit]

Venues will mostly be located within Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and the Gippsland region. Melbourne will host the opening ceremonies, acting as a gateway to the four main regional athletics sites. The current list is open to change, and further venues are to be named in late 2022.[25][26][27][28] The Victorian State Budget on 3 May 2022 allocated overall funding for the Games but planning work for the redevelopment of venues is ongoing.[15][19]

Melbourne[edit]

Geelong hub[edit]

Ballarat hub[edit]

Bendigo hub[edit]

Gippsland hub[edit]

Athletes village[edit]

Ceremonies[edit]

Opening Ceremony[edit]

The opening ceremony will take place on 17 March 2026 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Closing Ceremony[edit]

The closing ceremony will take place on 29 March 2026 and the Commonwealth Games Federation flag will be handed over to the representatives of the 2030 Commonwealth Games.

Broadcasting[edit]

Marketing[edit]

Motto[edit]

A Games like no other, in a place like no other

Emblem[edit]

Mascot[edit]

Sponsors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Victorian Government (June 2022). "Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games".
  2. ^ a b "Dates locked in for 2026 Comm Games". The New Daily. 6 July 2022. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  3. ^ "Rwanda to host 2019 CGF General Assembly marking ten-year anniversary of Commonwealth membership". Commonwealth Games Federation. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Dame Louise Martin to run unopposed for CGF President as confirmed 2026 Commonwealth Games to be awarded next year". 16 June 2019. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Games-Australian state to be confirmed 2026 Commonwealth Games host -report". Devdiscourse. 12 April 2022. Archived from the original on 11 April 2022.
  6. ^ Commonwealth Games set for Victoria, Australia, in 2026, from BBCSport.com
  7. ^ "CGF confirm Victoria, Australia as host of 2026 Commonwealth Games". CGF.com. 11 April 2022.
  8. ^ "Resurgent Commonwealth agrees to begin the process of selecting 2026 and 2030 Commonwealth Games Host Cities". Commonwealth Games Federation. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Bid process for 2026 Commonwealth Games officially launched". 31 March 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Victoria likely to host 2026 Commonwealth Games as government enters exclusive negotiations". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Melbourne. 16 February 2022. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  11. ^ Masters, Roy (19 January 2022). "Melbourne set to step into breach as 2026 Commonwealth Games host city". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
  12. ^ "Victoria present bid to host 2026 Commonwealth Games, could include 22 sports".
  13. ^ a b "Regional Victoria to host 2026 Commonwealth Games". ABC News. 12 April 2022.
  14. ^ "More than $2.5 billion pledged to Victoria in preparation for Commonwealth Games". www.insidethegames.biz. 3 May 2022. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  15. ^ a b c d e Preiss, Jewel Topsfield, Benjamin (3 May 2022). "Billions for regional sport as Victoria gears up for the Games". The Age. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  16. ^ Godde, Callum (23 June 2022). "Jeroen Weimar to lead Vic Comm Games team". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  17. ^ "Weimar To Lead Victoria 2026 Organising Committee | Premier of Victoria". www.premier.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  18. ^ "Jeroen Weimar to lead Vic Comm Games team". 7NEWS. 23 June 2022. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  19. ^ a b c "Regional Victorian stadiums to host 2026 Commonwealth Games". Austadiums. 16 April 2022. Archived from the original on 19 April 2022. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  20. ^ Higgins, Billy (21 April 2022). "City's grand plans to host Games". Geelong Times.
  21. ^ "Stead Park confirmed for Commonwealth Games hockey". Surf Coast Times. 13 July 2022. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  22. ^ a b c Masters, Roy (28 April 2022). "Wrestling or men's cricket? Stalemate on new sports for 2026". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  23. ^ a b "IOA demands addition of archery, shooting and wrestling at Victoria 2026". www.insidethegames.biz. 24 April 2022. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  24. ^ "Game On: Dates Locked In, More Sports For 2026 | Premier of Victoria". www.premier.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  25. ^ "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". Commonwealth Games. 12 April 2022. Archived from the original on 12 April 2022. Retrieved 13 April 2022.
  26. ^ Juanola, Marta Pascual (12 April 2022). "Victoria to host 2026 Commonwealth Games". The Age. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  27. ^ Mackay, Duncan (22 April 2022). "Victoria officially confirmed as host of 2026 Commonwealth Games as new regional model unveiled". Inside the Games. Retrieved 13 April 2022.
  28. ^ Shing, Harriet (13 April 2022). "Commonwealth Games update: Rugby sevens is coming Morwell!". Twitter. Archived from the original on 13 April 2022.
  29. ^ "Sky TV Wins Broadcast Rights For 2022 And 2026 Commonwealth Games". Ministry of Sport. 12 November 2019. Retrieved 15 November 2019.

External links[edit]