June 13th, 2024

Commonwealth Games Federation plans to reveal new 2026 host next month

By The Associated Press on April 7, 2024.

FILE - Premier of Australia's Victoria state Daniel Andrews addresses the media during his daily televised press conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Oct. 28, 2020. An inquiry into the Australian state of Victoria's decision to cancel its planned hosting of the 2026 Commonwealth Games said it cost the state 589 million Australian dollars ($385 million) and the price estimate that resulted in it being shelved was "overstated and not transparent." (AP Photo/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake, File)

LONDON (AP) – The Commonwealth Games Federation plans to announce a new host for its 2026 event next month, saying it has “multiple proposals” to replace Australia’s Victoria state.

The CGF on Monday said it was keeping the proposals confidential. Victoria state lawmakers last July withdrew from plans to host the 2026 Games in three regional hubs, citing escalating costs.

“Significant progress has been made and we are excited by the early concepts, which aim to reset and reframe the Games,” the CGF said in a statement following its April meeting. “We are working collaboratively with the relevant (members) to undertake further detailed assessments, and aim to announce the 2026 Commonwealth Games host in May.”

Victoria state agreed to a compensation package with the Commonwealth Games Federation, which will help offset costs for the next hosts. Australia’s Gold Coast, which held the 2018 Commonwealth Games, was flagged as a potential host for 2026 but couldn’t get state or federal funding.

The CGF said it was focusing on transforming the Games to reduce costs and make the events more sustainable. The Commonwealth Games, established in 1930 as the British Empire Games, are open to 74 nations and territories and have been staged in Australia, Canada, England, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales.

Last month, an Australian inquiry into the Victoria government’s decision to cancel announced it cost the state 589 million Australian dollars ($385 million) and the price estimate that resulted in it being shelved was “overstated and not transparent.”

Victoria’s Auditor-General’s Office said agencies failed to work together to give “frank, full and timely advice” to the government before it decided to host the games.

In 2022 the Labor government led by then-Premier Daniel Andrews agreed to host the 2026 Games at an expected cost of about A$2.6 billion ($1.7 billion). But it pulled out in July 2023 after saying the figure had blown out to A$6.9 billion ($4.5 billion).

Craig Phillips, CEO of Commonwealth Games Australia, said the inquiry findings “confirms the gross exaggeration of costs detailed by the then premier when he made the decision to cancel.”

AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports

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