2026 Commonwealth Games in limbo after Gold Coast withdrawal

The Gold Coast will not be stepping in to stage the Commonwealth Games in 2026

The British government has told Commonwealth Games organisers that the United Kingdom will not step in to rescue the event again after the Gold Coast withdrew its bid for the 2026 event.

Substantial UK government support allowed Birmingham to ride to the rescue of the 2022 Games after Durban was stripped of the event in 2017.

However, multiple sources in the UK say there is no financial appetite – or any preliminary planning in place – to allow another British city to intervene again.

With Victoria also having pulled out of hosting the 2026 Games this year, and no obvious other candidates waiting in the wings, there are fears that the Commonwealth Games is facing a looming existential threat.

However, a Commonwealth Games Federation spokesperson urged patience while the hunt for a new host resumed.

“Since the sudden withdrawal of Victoria in July 2023 as host of the 2026 Games, the Commonwealth Games Federation has been working tirelessly with Commonwealth Games Associations to find a new host who would be able to step in at such short notice,” she said. “We are in active conversations with a number of potential hosts across the Commonwealth and hope to provide an update on those discussions in early 2024.”

Earlier the Gold Coast’s withdrawal was confirmed by its mayor Tom Tate, after he admitted it had not received enough support from the state or federal governments.

The announcement came after the Australian state of Victoria announced in July that it was pulling out of hosting the 2026 Games due to the cost of the event breaching estimates by around A$5bn (£2.6bn). Daniel Andrews, the state premier at the time, told media in Melbourne that he was not prepared to spend up to A$7bn (£3.6bn) on a “12-day sporting event”.

The state ultimately agreed to pay £190m to the Commonwealth Games Federation, Commonwealth Games Federation Partnerships, and Commonwealth Games Australia for its decision.


Story By: Princeton Wiredu

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