It’s been confirmed that the Commonwealth Games will be set in Victoria in 2026. Four regional hubs will set up in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland, each with an athletes’ village and sports program. These hubs will host athletes, officials and fans, after an Opening Ceremony at the MCG.
Commonwealth Games in Regional Victoria
The Commonwealth Games Federation and Commonwealth Games Australia are now doing further work to determine if any additional sports will be included in the 2026 program, which may open up opportunities for other regions to host events.
There are 16 sports currently planned for the Games. They are:
- Geelong – aquatics, beach volleyball, gymnastics, hockey, table tennis, triathlon
- Ballarat – athletics, boxing
- Gippsland – badminton, rugby sevens
- Bendigo – lawn bowls, netball, squash, weightlifting
Cricket T20 will be played in all four locations, and there will be a cycling event from Gippsland to Bendigo.
There are also six para sports locked into the program, including para swimming and para athletics.
Meanwhile, Shepparton will host cultural and sporting events as part of the Games.
“It’s a great honour to have Victoria chosen as the host venue for the 2026 Commonwealth Games,” said Premier Dan Andrews. “We can’t wait to welcome the world to all of our state.”
It’s estimated that the Commonwealth Games will contribute over $3 billion to Victoria’s economy, with over 600 full-time equivalent jobs created before the Games, 3,900 during the Games and 3,000 jobs beyond the Closing Ceremony.
There will be a heavy investment in community infrastructure to prepare for 2026, including housing and world-class sports facilities. There will also be a program of cultural experiences and activations across the state, to celebrate Victoria’s rich history and diversity.
The 2026 Games will be the 23rd edition of this competition. So far, Australia has hosted the 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.