2026 Commonwealth Games set to return to Australia
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has entered an exclusive dialogue period with the State of Victoria in Australia and Commonwealth Games Australia (CGAus) to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
The 2026 Games will be the 23rd edition of the major multi-sport competition, which first began in Hamilton, Canada in 1930.
The CGF has been in discussions with multiple countries across the Commonwealth regarding hosting the 2026 Games, with negotiations accelerating following the launch of the 2026/30 Strategic Roadmap in October 2021. The Roadmap provides future hosts and sports with the renewed flexibility to be innovative and creative in delivering the Games.
Following ongoing discussions, the CGF, the Victorian Government and CGAus have signed a Heads of Agreement to formally enter an exclusive dialogue period to agree the parameters for a 2026 Commonwealth Games, to be hosted in the State in South-Eastern Australia.
Premier Daniel Andrews and the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula have confirmed that, if awarded, the 2026 Commonwealth Games would be hosted across the State.
The Government and CGAus will now develop Victoria’s 2026 Commonwealth Games Submission. It will focus on a new way to host the Games, showing how events could be held in multiple locations across regional Victoria to showcase the best of what the State has to offer and ensure a uniquely Victorian experience for the athletes and spectators. The CGF will assess this submission prior to any decision being made to award the Games to Victoria.
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. The 2022 Commonwealth Games will be staged in Birmingham, England from 28 July – 8 August.
Victoria is a world leading major events and tourism destination. The State has a strong track record for staging high profile sporting competition including The Australian Open tennis grand slam, the Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Melbourne Cup. Victoria also regularly hosts elite cricket, golf and Australian Rules Football competition.
Commonwealth Games Federation president Dame Louise Martin DBE said: “We are pleased to have entered into an exclusive dialogue with Victoria and Commonwealth Games Australia to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
“Following months of positive discussions, it is clear that Victoria has an exciting vision for a future Games which will provide many benefits for the community whilst leaving a significant legacy for the state.
“This vision is aligned with our 2026/30 Strategic Roadmap, which has proved to be a catalyst for positive and exciting conversations on how our event will look in four years’ time.
“Victoria is one of the world’s greatest sporting States and there is no doubt it has the venues, infrastructure, and people to stage a world class edition of the Games.
“We are very excited to be working closely with Victoria and Commonwealth Games Australia to explore the potential staging of the event in the State.”
Commonwealth Games Australia president Ben Houston added: “Hosting Great Games is a key pillar in the Commonwealth Games Australia strategic plan and given our window for hosting the Games is 2026, we are thrilled to join the CGF in exclusive dialogue with Victoria to host the Commonwealth Games once again.
A home Games provides immeasurable benefits for our Member sports and athletes and we look forward to working with both the CGF and the Victorian Government to bring a final Games plan to life.”
It has not yet been confirmed whether lawn bowls will be contested at the 2026 Commonwealth Games.