Save the game: Gold Coast launches determined bid to host 2026 Commonwealth Games

Oct 20, 2023
Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate has entered serious talks to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Source: Getty Images.

The Commonwealth Games have been held consistently since the 1930s, with only a brief hiatus due to the outbreak of World War 2, and has remained one of the world’s most popular sporting events. However, its future has recently been called into question as prospective hosts have withdrawn their support.

One of Victorian Premier Dan Andrews’ last decisions while in office was to cancel Victoria’s plans to host the games, citing a 7 billion dollar cost blow-out. The move proved to be quite controversial amongst athletes and fans alike and has left organisers scrambling to find a new location to host the event.

Canada also withdrew its bid to host the 2030 Commonwealth Games, further throwing the future of the games into question. While things remain uncertain, there is some hope for the 2026 event to still take place on Australian shores.

Gold Coast mayor, Tom Tate, was quick to throw his hat in the ring again to host the games after the announcement of Victoria’s cancellation. He cited that the Gold Coast was already “Games ready” after the successful 2018 event.

Tate has recently reaffirmed his desire for the Gold Coast to host the event. Tate revealed that he has already met with Commonwealth Games Australia Chief Executive Craig Phillips and Commonwealth Games Federation partners director Michael Bushell.

“I’ve just concluded a very positive meeting with the CGF. Mr Phillips agrees the Gold Coast is an excellent option for the Games,” Tate said.

“I showed them our preliminary business case which proves that a scaled-down 2026 Games can be held on the coast for around $700 million.

“This is a $2 billion-plus gift to the [SEQ] economy at no monetary cost to Queensland, apart from in-kind support at the time.”

Tate is expected to make an official bid to host the games in November at an official Commonwealth Games Federation meeting in Singapore. So far, he has been very vocal about the effect that Victoria’s cancellation has had on Australia’s reputation.

“The Dan Andrews debacle has cruelled our national reputation across the Commonwealth,” Tate said.

“We owe it to our national reputation to save the 2026 Games and this report clearly shows it can be done, well within a feasible budget.”

However, the Queensland Government does not share Tate’s enthusiasm due to already hosting the 2032 Summer Olympics.

“I can’t say I have had a single person raise with me their desire to have the Commonwealth Games again on the Gold Coast,” said Gold Coast MP Meaghan Scanlon.

“If it is something that Tom Tate wants to progress that’s a matter for him, we’ve made our position clear though.”

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