Six years before the world descends onto Brisbane for the 2032 Olympic Games, the best sportspeople from Commonwealth nations will make their way to Victoria’s regional hubs for the Commonwealth Games.
Confirmed today, Victoria has been selected as the host of the 2026 Commonwealth Games, with events to be held across multiple regions, creating a new multi-city model for the event.
The state government expects the Commonwealth Games will contribute more than $3 billion to the Victorian economy, creating more than 600 full-time equivalent jobs before the Games, 3,900 during the event, and a further 3,000 beyond the Closing Ceremony.
Four regional hubs will be established in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland, each with their own athletes’ village and sport program. The hubs will host athletes, officials and fans following an Opening Ceremony at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, using the state’s capital as the gateway to regional Victoria.
Shepparton will also host sporting and cultural events as part of Victoria 2026. There will also be a strong para sport program, with six sports already locked in.
The state says 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.
The Victorian Government is working with the Commonwealth Games Federation and Commonwealth Games Australia to determine if additional sports will be included in the event’s program, which may open up opportunities for other locations to host events.
“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,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“The Commonwealth Games in regional Victoria is great for jobs, hospitality and our economy.”
Victoria 2026: Initial 16 sports on the Games programme:
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Dame Louise Martin said the CGF was “absolutely delighted to award the 2026 Commonwealth Games to Victoria” - the sixth time Australia will have hosted the event and the second time for Victoria after Melbourne hosted the 2006 Games.
“Commonwealth Games Australia and the Victorian Government have set out a bold and innovative vision for hosting our major multi-sport event,” said Martin.
“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.”
The state intends to engage with Victorian businesses to develop a program of cultural experiences to bring the event to life.
In addition, the state hopes infrastructure built will have a follow-on effect of delivering affordable housing for the regions and state-of-the-art sports infrastructure to attract future major events.
“Hosting the Commonwealth Games in four years’ time will deliver major benefits, particularly the regions, and leave a lasting legacy for the growth and development of sport throughout Victoria,” Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said.
The coup adds to Victoria’s already proud history as a sporting state, which hosts annual events such as the Australian Open, the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, the Melbourne Cup Carnival and the Boxing Day Test.
The announcement comes after Brisbane was named the host city for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the Queensland capital selected after a landslide vote in its favour.
Approval is just the beginning for Brisbane which will be transformed to host the major event, with $10 billion in infrastructure spending planned to get the city ready for the international program of sporting excellence.
Brisbane was recommended as a host city by the IOC Board, attracted by a strong masterplan with a high proportion of existing venues to be utilised, "set against a spectacular backdrop" with sports also to take place in the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Southeast Queensland hinterland areas.
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