Lack of potential Commonwealth Games host is ‘very sad’
THE Gold Coast’s withdrawal as a potential host for 2026 has sent further shockwaves around the Commonwealth Games world.
Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate had insisted the east Australian city could host the next Games, following a successful event in 2018, but he has now confirmed it is pulling out after a lack of support from federal and state governments.
The city was a popular candidate following Victoria’s surprise withdrawal in July due to wildly increased cost projections, but the withdrawal exacerbates fears that the Commonwealths may not happen in 2026.
Guernsey Commonwealth Games Association chairwoman Angela Stuart called the situation ‘very sad’. ‘If something does not happen, it’s going to be a great shame,’ she said.
But Stuart gave her assurances that the Commonwealth Games Federation are working ‘extremely hard’ to find a host.
This comes after, last month, she attended the CGF’s general assembly in Singapore for the election of a new executive board.
‘We have just got to put our faith in the Federation that, with the nominations that are happening with various members around the Commonwealth, some form of Games will happen in 2026,’ she said.
‘The information we are getting is not much different to what the media are getting.’
She also referred back to Birmingham stepping up to host the 2022 edition – replacing South Africa – and how it seems to have benefited the city.
‘I know the financial side is huge, but the benefits they’ve had to Birmingham following the Games, you can only look at that as a positive.’
Tate has wished luck to other potential hosts after confirming the Gold Coast would no longer pursue its $700m. bid for the Games.
‘We did our best and that’s all people can expect,’ he said.
‘In simple terms, it seems our Games’ vision doesn’t align with the vision of the state or federal governments.’
Commonwealth Games Australia chief executive Craig Phillips has now conceded that shifting the multi-sport spectacle outside of the nation is increasingly likely.
‘It’s our preference to host here and we will keep going while we think we have got options to explore.
‘But if they have a better option, then they should seriously consider it.’
There are currently no active bids for the Games, not least in the UK, though earlier comments have given some credibility to the idea that they could be held in London or Scotland.
London mayor Sadiq Khan and Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf have stated they would potentially support hosting bids for their respective locations. Both would be reliant on government support.