New Delhi: Gold Coast, Australia, has officially withdrawn its bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, citing a lack of support from both the state and federal governments. The decision follows Victoria’s earlier withdrawal from hosting the games this year, citing significant cost overruns.
Gold Coast had proposed a “scaled-down” event with a budget of $700 million after Victoria’s withdrawal. However, Mayor Tom Tate revealed that the city’s inability to secure funding from the government made it impossible to host the Commonwealth Games.
“We did our best, and that’s all people can expect. Since announcing in July that the Coast was prepared to host the 2026 games, I have been overwhelmed by support from locals, sports administrators, businesses, and athletes, all wanting to see the event saved,” said Mayor Tate in a statement.
He further explained, “We couldn’t generate support from the state or federal governments. As such, I have today written to the new Commonwealth Games Federation president, Chris Jenkins, OBE, advising that our city is moving forward and seeking other major sports and festival events.”
Craig Phillips, CEO of Commonwealth Games Australia, expressed understanding of the situation and mentioned that the organization is actively exploring alternative solutions to support athletes.
“Mayor Tate is an enthusiastic advocate for the Commonwealth Games because he knows how they can transform a city when delivered well. But we understand the need of the Queensland government to focus their efforts on the enormous opportunity that is Brisbane 2032,” stated Phillips.
This withdrawal adds uncertainty to the future of the Commonwealth Games, as it marks the second consecutive edition left without a host city. The 2022 Commonwealth Games saw a last-minute relocation when Durban, South Africa, was stripped of hosting rights due to financial issues. Birmingham, England, stepped in to take over the hosting rights for the 2022 event.
(With Inputs From IANS)