Gold Coast mayor says city ready to step in as 2026 Commonwealth Games host

Rhys McClenaghan on his way to winning gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia.
Rhys McClenaghan on his way to winning gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia.

Gold Coast is ready to step in and host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, the Australian city’s mayor has said.

Gold Coast staged the Games in 2018 and its mayor Tom Tate said it is “Games ready” after the state of Victoria withdrew as 2026 hosts earlier this week.

Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews cited a rise in estimated costs to at least six billion Australian dollars (just under £3.2bn) as he announced the withdrawal on Tuesday.

“The premier of Victoria’s lemon, the Gold Coast can turn that into lemonade because that’s how we roll,” Tate said in quotes reported by ABC in Australia.

“We can highlight once more that the Gold Coast is going ahead in leaps and bounds.”

Read more:

  • Is Victoria cancellation the beginning of the end of the Commonwealth Games?
  • Scotland to explore hosting Commonwealth Games in joint bid – Humza Yousaf

Tate said hosting 2026 would give the state of Queensland “momentum” in its journey towards state capital Brisbane hosting the 2032 Olympic Games, but warned federal government funding initially earmarked for Victoria would need to be redirected to his city to make it happen.

Athletics Australia welcomed Tate’s comments, but Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said all efforts must remain focused on the 2032 Olympics.

“Even though the Gold Coast is a wonderful venue, it does have the venues and the infrastructure, it does have the transport, but we cannot afford to spend more money on another games,” she said.

ABC reported Tate had already made contact with officials at the Commonwealth Games Federation, which has been contacted for comment.

CGF chief executive Katie Sadleir told the PA news agency earlier this week her organisation was “open” to offers from any countries interested in hosting, including those within the UK.

A spokesman for London mayor Sadiq Khan said he “stood ready” to support a submission for 2026 but that any decision would need to be taken by the British Government.

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf said his country would explore the possibility of stepping in, possibly as part of a multi-country bid.

Commonwealth Games Scotland chair Ian Reid has a strong track record in Games delivery, having served as chief financial officer for the Glasgow 2014 organising committee and as chief executive of the Birmingham 2022 Games.