Melbourne front runner to host 2026 Commonwealth Games

An unlikely series of events has pushed Melbourne to the top of the list as the host city for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is facing a dilemma with none of the more than 50 nations in the Commonwealth willing to bid for host-city status.

The Victorian government has acknowledged that it has been approached by the Federation and is currently running the numbers to see if it can host the event.

The two-year pandemic has made life very difficult for the Federation with destinations unable to commit under the ongoing circumstances including other Australian cities such as Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney which have all ruled themselves out.

The UK’s Birmingham was originally scheduled as 2026 host but instead stepped in to host it this year after South Africa’s Durban dropped out, leaving a hole in the timetable.

A senior Victorian official told The Age they were looking at the proposal but had “made no commitment”.

“We’ve had discussions with the CGF and we are doing some preliminary studies to see if it works,” said the government official.

“We’ve got a short timeframe and we need to have the facilities up to speed. But it would have a regional focus.”