No surprise sports in 2026 Comm Games: CGA

Steve Larkin |

Commonwealth Games organisers say there’s unlikely to be any surprise sports in Victoria’s bid.
Commonwealth Games organisers say there’s unlikely to be any surprise sports in Victoria’s bid.

Australia is unlikely to spring surprises when settling on sports to include in Victoria’s 2026 Commonwealth Games bid.

The proposed sports program, and exactly where they will be staged, will be settled within a month after Victoria officially announced its bid to host on Wednesday.

Victoria has entered into exclusive negotiations with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) to host the 2026 sporting event.

And under new CGF terms, a host has greater powers in deciding what sports to include on the Games program.

But Commonwealth Games Australia’s chief executive officer Craig Phillips says there’s unlikely to be surprise sports featured in Victoria’s 2026 bid.

“We have had some comprehensive discussions around that,” Phillips told AAP on Wednesday.

“The CGF’s new roadmap gives a bit more flexibility around Games programs so we’re just looking at what that looks like in terms of how it applies to the setting here.

“I am not really at liberty to start to reveal the sports at this stage.

“But certainly we’re working through a list of sports at the moment and obviously will match them with venues.

“It’s probably a bit early to say but I am not sure anyone will be really surprised where we’re landing.”

Victoria’s bid will be submitted to the CGF in mid-March with official approval likely in April.

Holding numerous sports in regional centres is a centrepiece of the bid.

Phillips said regional facilities included housing and sports venues would be upgraded or built for the 2026 event, which would be the sixth time Australia has hosted a Commonwealth Games.

Melbourne hosted in 2006 while other editions in Sydney (1938), Perth (1962), Brisbane (1982) and the Gold Coast (2018).

“One of our strategic pillars for our organisation is hosting great Games,” Phillips said.

“We know how important it is at one level, for our athletes and member sports, that we bring the Games back to Australia on a regular basis.

“And right now ’26 becomes important in a broader context because of the runway to Brisbane in ’32,” he said, referring to Brisbane’s summer Olympics a decade from now.

“But it also acts as an incubator for a whole lot of other things to happen in the community – housing, infrastructure development, jobs.

“We see a real community benefit here of the Games coming back on a regular basis.”