Victoria to host 2026 Commonwealth Games with regional focus

Victoria will host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, with the majority of events to be held in regional centres.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the games would be an opportunity to showcase regional areas and support jobs in those areas.

“This will be a Commonwealth Games like no other,” he said. “We promised we wouldn’t be doing a re-run of 2006, as successful as that was.”

The opening ceremony will be held at the MCG in in Melbourne, while athletes’ villages will be set up in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland. Shepparton will also host sporting and cultural events.

The president of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Dame Louise Martin said the 2026 event would be unlike any other said Victoria is “the perfect partner” for the 2026 Games.

“Commonwealth Games Australia and the Victorian Government have set out a bold and innovative vision for hosting our major multi-sport event,” she said.

“In Victoria, we believe we have found the perfect partner for the next stage of our journey.”

Commonwealth Games Australia president Ben Houston said they had worked closely with the CGF for the past two years to bring the Commonwealth Games back to Australia.

“Commonwealth Games Australia is thrilled to welcome the athletes of the Commonwealth back to Australia and we look forward to working with both the CGF and the Victorian Government to bring the Games to life across Victoria in 2026,” Houston said.

“A home Games will provide immeasurable benefits for our Member sports and will inspire our athletes in what will be a unique and exciting Games.

“More than that, the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games will play a key role in the development of Australian sport at all levels.

“We will have three editions of the Commonwealth Games in the lead up to the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane.

“Three ‘Home-Games’ for our athletes and sports in six years, plus the additional benefit of World Cup’s and World Championship events that will be held in Victoria and across Australia.

“It will be a ‘Green and Gold’ festival for a decade.”