2026 Commonwealth Games: Australia still in the running as potential hosts enter negotiations

Australia is facing a three-month deadline to find a host for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, as three other candidates emerge for the multi-sport event. The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is prioritizing finding an Australian host for the 2026 edition, while appealing for government support. Welshman Chris Jenkins was elected president at the CGF’s general assembly in Singapore, with a focus on “remodelling” the Games.

The crisis arose after the Victorian government, citing cost blowouts, withdrew from hosting the 2026 Games in July. Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate has offered to step in at an estimated cost of $700 million, but Queensland’s government has declined to support the bid. CGF chief executive Katie Sadleir has revealed that three other unnamed regions have emerged as potential candidates to host the Games in 2026 or 2027.

While a decision is likely in February, the option to postpone the Games until 2027 is also being considered. The Commonwealth Games Australia chief executive Craig Phillips stated that other Commonwealth nations are in support of Australia hosting the next Games. Phillips also mentioned that discussions are ongoing with other Australian states, despite none yet expressing interest in hosting.

Victoria’s government withdrew as the host citing a forecast rise in costs from between $2 billion and $3 billion to between $6 billion and $7 billion, which the Games hierarchy contests. The CGF has assured that they are looking at reducing costs and will find a way to continue the Games in 2026 or 2027.