It’s been confirmed that the Commonwealth Games will no longer be held in Victoria in 2026. Regional hubs were originally meant to be set in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Gippsland and Shepparton, with an allocated budget of $2.6 billion. However, the true cost was likely to blow up to $6 billion or $7 billion. As a result, the Games have been cancelled.
Commonwealth Games cancelled in Regional Victoria
Regional Victoria was originally set to change the Commonwealth Games with a multi-city model, hosting 20 sports and 9 para sports across give regional centres from March 17 to 29, 2026. However, due to the cost blowouts, this will no longer happen.
“I will not take money out of hospitals and schools in order to fund an event that is three times the cost as estimated and budgeted for last year,” said Premier Dan Andrews.
Instead, a $2 billion spending package will be used in regional Victoria to make up for the loss of the Games. The package includes a $1 billion Regional Housing Fund, with 1,300 new homes constructed across the state. These new homes will be a mixture of social and affordable housing.
A new $150 million Regional Tourism and Events Fund will continue to attract visitors to the regions with new events, new attractions and more accommodation.
A new $60 million Regional Community Sport Development Fund will deliver new projects to support community sport, including aquatic centres, indoor stadiums and walking and cycling paths. There will also be a $40 million All Abilities Sport Fund which will remove the barriers of entry for people with a disability to get involved with sports through grants, scholarships and mentoring.
All of the permanent new and upgraded sporting infrastructure projects will continue to go ahead. This includes upgrading Eureka Stadium in Ballarat to seat 10,000 spectators, a 6-court indoor stadium at Waurn Ponds, a new aquatic centre at Armstrong Creek, BMX trails in Shepparton and more.
So far, Australia has hosted the Commonwealth Games five times, with Sydney in 1938, Perth in 1962, Brisbane in 1982, Melbourne in 2006 and Gold Coast in 2018. Victoria also hosted the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo in 2004.
For the full Premier’s statement, click here.