The anticipation surrounding the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games has taken a saddening turn as Premier Daniel Andrews announced in a press conference this morning that the games would be cancelled.
One of the key factors contributing to the decision made by the Andrews Government is reportedly the anticipated cost of hosting the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games. Initially expected to cost around $2 billion dollars, the premier stated in his press conference that the cost had escalated to an estimated 6-7 billion dollars. The financial burden resulting from this significant increase became a major factor in the cancellation of the Commonwealth Games.
“We will not be spending 6-7 billion dollars on a twelve-day sporting event,” declared the premier, who also announced the implementation of a community sports and housing program as a replacement.
In response to these developments, Commonwealth Games Chief Executive Officer, Craig Phillips AM, has made the following comments about the decision to withdraw from the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games by the Victorian Government.
“The announcement made by the Victorian Government today is beyond disappointing.”
“It’s a comprehensive letdown for the athletes, the excited host communities, First Nations Australians who were at the heart of the Games, and the millions of fans that would have embraced a sixth home Games in Australia.”
“The multi-city model for delivering Victoria 2026 was an approach proposed by the Victorian Government, in accordance with strategic roadmap of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).”
“It was pitched to the CGF after Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) had sought interest to host the Games from several states. They did not step in as hosts at the last minute, as indicated by the Premier earlier today.”
“The detailed budgetary implications announced today have not been sighted or discussed with the CGF or CGA ahead of being notified of the Government’s decision.
“The stated costs overrun, in our opinion, are a gross exaggeration and not reflective of the operational costs presented to the Victoria 2026 Organising Committee board as recently as June.”
“Beyond this, the Victorian Government wilfully ignored recommendations to move events to purpose-built stadia in Melbourne and in fact remained wedded to proceeding with expensive temporary venues in regional Victoria.”
“CGA would welcome the opportunity to review the financial analysis prepared independently of those who have been involved at the coal face of planning and delivery.”
“We thank the dedicated staff at the Organising Committee and the Office for the Commonwealth Games for their effort, acknowledging that today will be a tough time for those who have worked so hard.”
Todays events unfolded after organisers and athletes celebrated a countdown milestone last month, celebrating 1000 days until the opening ceremony.
Speculation now arises regarding which city might step in to host the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games if they were to proceed. Several cities within Australia have previously expressed interest in hosting major sporting events, and this unexpected turn of events could provide an opportunity for them to showcase their capabilities. The Gold Coast, which hosted the event in 2018, could serve as a potential backup for the event, while Brisbane, set to host the 2032 Olympic Games, emerges as a strong contender, given its recent success in securing major international events or will the event head back overseas.