Australia: Gold Coast withdraws bid to host 2026 Commonwealth Games

Australia’s Gold Coast region has withdrawn its bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026, making the future of the tournament uncertain.

Gold Coast scraps bid to host upcoming 2026 Commonwealth Games. Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

Victoria was initially slated to host the multi-nation, multi-sport event.

However, it withdrew itself from hosting it earlier this year.

Gold Coast, a metropolitan region south of Brisbane, hosted the event in 2018 and its Mayor Tom Tate insisted that it could do it again, but the federal and state governments repeatedly ruled out supporting it.

Organisers have said they may have to postpone or cancel the next instalment of the Games, reported BBC.

“We did our best and that’s all people can expect,” Tate said in a statement on Sunday night (December 3, 2023) as quoted by BBC.

“Sadly, at the same time, our country’s reputation as a place that reneges on a global sports contract remains in tatters,” he said.

“In simple terms, it seems our Games’ vision doesn’t align with the vision of the state or federal governments,” he added.

Commonwealth Games also received a jolt earlier when Canada’s Alberta decided to withdraw its plan to host the event in 2030.

There are no firm bids to host the mega sporting event in 2026 and 2030.

Governments say the cost of the event is skyrocketing, while experts argue its global image and perceived relevance are waning, reported BBC.

Tate said he had received support from locals, sports administrators, businesses and athletes “all wanting to see the event saved”.

“We also received fantastic support from great Australians like Gina Rinehart, Gerry Harvey and Katie Page, yet we couldn’t generate support from the state or federal governments,” he was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Our dual proposal with Perth would have saved Australia’s tarnished reputation, delivered billions into the national economy and given athletes, and para-athletes, a clear pathway towards other international competitions, including the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics and Paralympics and then on to the 2032 Games in Queensland,” he said.