Victoria will host the 2026 Commonwealth Games in several cities
Victoria will host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, with regional centers across the Australian state hosting the majority of events breaking away from the traditional single host city model.
The Games will take place in March 2026 in several cities and regional centres, including Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland, each with its own athletes’ village.
The opening ceremony will take place at the iconic 100,000 capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) announced on Tuesday.
The announcement follows a period of exclusive dialogue between the CGF, Commonwealth Games Australia (CGAus) and Victoria.
Initially, 16 sports, including Twenty20 cricket, were proposed for the Games, with more sports to be added later this year.
Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews said: “It is a great honor that Victoria has been chosen as the host site for the 2026 Commonwealth Games – we look forward to welcoming the world across our state.
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“Commonwealth Games in Greater Victoria are great for jobs, hospitality and our economy.” Australia has hosted the Commonwealth Games five times, with Victoria hosting the Melbourne Games in 2006; widely regarded as one of the most successful editions of the event in history.
The country also hosted the Games in Sydney in 1938, Perth in 1962, Brisbane in 1982 and most recently Gold Coast in 2018. Victoria also hosted the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo in 2004.
CGF President Dame Louise Martin said: “The Commonwealth Games Federation is absolutely delighted to award the 2026 Commonwealth Games to Victoria.
“Commonwealth Games Australia and the Government of Victoria have set out a bold and innovative vision to host our major multi-sport event. In Victoria, we believe we have found the perfect partner for the next leg of our journey.” The 2026 Games will be the 23rd edition of the major multi-sport competition, which began in Hamilton, Canada in 1930.
Victoria is a major event and a leading tourist destination. The state has a strong track record of hosting top-level sporting competitions including the Australian Open tennis grand slam, Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Melbourne Cup.
The state also regularly hosts elite competitions in cricket, golf and Australian rules football.