The Commonwealth Games could be pushed back by a year to 2027 to provide enough time to find another Australian host after Victoria cancelled hosting the 2026 event.
The Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) CEO Craig Phillips said the Games organisers are working on a solution for the event during a Senate inquiry after the Victorian Labor government announced that it would withdraw as host of the 2026 Commonwealth Games on July 18.
Premier Daniel Andrews’s decision to cancel the 2026 Games cited concerns over a cost blowout that sparked criticisms from political parties, the public, and the sporting community across the country.
Mr. Phillips said the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF)—the international organisation that is responsible for the direction and control of the Games—was open to delaying the Games until 2027 to give potential hosts more time to prepare.
Although no Australian state governments have expressed interest in hosting the Games after Victoria withdrew, Mr. Phillips said all mainland capital cities in Australia have the capability to host the games.
“It may be a scaled back version of the Games, given the time we have, but if you look around the capital cities around Australia … all have the capability of hosting,” Mr. Phillips said, reported AAP.
Australia has hosted five of the previous 22 Commonwealth Games and is one of the most successful competing nations.
“We need to make sure that the Games match the host, and not the other way round,” Mr. Phillips told the committee in Canberra on Sept. 8.
“So it’ll be a tailored solution.
“From our perspective, we need a Games for our athletes, so whatever the final solution is, from our perspective, will be satisfactory.”
Mr. Phillips said they hope to have a solution by November, in time for when the CGF general assembly will meet in Singapore.
Following Victoria’s withdrawal from the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Canada’s Alberta province also withdrew its support for a bid to host the 2030 event on Aug. 3, citing the high cost of being a big factor as to why it withdrew.
Cost of Cancelling Commonwealth Games
After the Victorian government pulled out of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games in July due to cost blowouts, Victoria was penalised $380 million (US$242 million).
Victoria agreed it would pay the Commonwealth Games bodies—the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), Commonwealth Games Federation Partnerships (CGFP), and Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA)—$380 million in compensation.
The Andrew’s government claims the cost of Victoria’s model had increased from $2.6 billion (US$1.7 billion) to up to $7 billion (US$4.5 billion).
Neil Fergus, an adviser to the CGF said on Sept. 8 during the inquiry that Victoria pursued some “very odd” choices in infrastructure in regional areas for the 2026 Commonwealth Games before it cancelled hosting the event.
Mr. Fergus said that money was being put into an expensive but temporary velodrome for women’s cycling in Bendigo, and hosting women’s cricket in Gippsland was odd as it was one of the most popular competitions at the games in Birmingham.
“When I raised questions about