— Published 12 April 2022

Victoria takes the win

It’s official: the Australian state of Victoria will host the Commonwealth Games in 2026. The announcement was made earlier this week by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). The announcement came after a long phase of dialogue between the Victorian authorities and the CGF, which began in February. It ends a period of uncertainty for the 2026 edition of the Commonwealth Games, for which the choice of host country has been postponed several times due to a lack of candidates. Five cities will share the hosting of the event in Victoria: Melbourne (pictured above) will host the opening ceremony; Geelong, the state’s second largest city by population, is expected to host seven sports (swimming, beach volleyball, gymnastics, hockey, table tennis and triathlon); Ballarat will host athletics, boxing and cricket; Bendigo is expected to host netball, squash, weightlifting and powerlifting; and badminton and rugby sevens are scheduled to be held in the rural town of Gippsland. In total, the initial programme for the multi-sport event in 2026 includes 16 sports, 12 of which are Olympic. The 2026 Commonwealth Games are thus set to be the first ever to be held in an entire region. They will also be the second to be held in Australia in less than a decade, with the 2018 edition being held in Gold Coast, Queensland. The next edition, this year, will be held in Birmingham, Great Britain. With this new take, Australia is set to be the hub of world sport over the next decade, hosting the Women’s Basketball World Cup this year, the Road Cycling World Championships in 2023, the Women’s Football World Cup also in 2023, plus the Brisbane Summer Games in 2032 and potentially the Men’s Rugby World Cup in 2027 and Women’s World Cup in 2029. Australia is expected to host over 30 major events on the international sporting calendar over the next ten years.