Regional Victoria officially hosts the 2026 Commonwealth Games

What will start at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and then broadcast multiple sports across Victoria? Every year the AFL season does just that – but soon the Commonwealth Games will too. Just four years away from the event and months away from the 2022 matches in Birmingham, England, Region Victoria has been named host of the event in 2026.

While the opening ceremony will take over the MCG – where else? – the games themselves will be held in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland. Each spot will operate as a regional hub, branding its own athlete village and sports programs, and broadcasting the event statewide in the process.

Robert Blackburn, Visit Victoria

And, because the 2026 Commonwealth Games are truly poised to make the most of Victoria, Shepparton will also host sporting and cultural events. If you are wondering exactly what will be held where, it has been proposed that all water events will be held in Geelong, along with hockey, gymnastics, table tennis, beach volleyball and triathlon. Gippsland could host badminton and rugby, athletics and boxing have been earmarked for Ballarat, and Bendigo looks set to host weightlifting, bowls and squash.

The cycling program will likely run from Gippsland to Bendigo, while Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland would all host cricket.

And, there will also be a para-sports programme, with para-athletics, para-swimming, para-lawn bowls, para-table tennis, para-triathlon and para-powerlifting already locked in.

Announcing the news, Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews said “It is a great honor to have chosen Victoria as the venue for the 2026 Commonwealth Games – we look forward to welcoming the world all over our state”.

It is estimated that the 2026 games will give the Victorian economy a $3 billion boost, creating more than 600 full-time jobs ahead of the event, as well as 3,900 jobs while they are underway and another 3,000 after.

The Commonwealth Games will also include cultural events spread across the state, and the Queen’s Baton Relay will travel through different regions of Victoria in the weeks leading up to the opening ceremony.

And yes, Australia only hosted the games recently, in 2018 on the Gold Coast. It also means Australia will host two major sporting events in the next decade, given that Brisbane has already been locked down as the venue for the 2032 Olympics.

The 2026 Commonwealth Games will be held in regional Victoria in 2026, with exact dates to be announced. For more information, visit the Commonwealth Games website and the Government of Victoria website.

Top image: StephenK1997 via Flickr.

Posted on April 12, 2022 by

Sarah Ward

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