The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has confirmed that the 2026 Commonwealth Games will be hosted by the State of Victoria in Australia.
The announcement follows a successful exclusive dialogue period between the CGF, Commonwealth Games Australia (CGAus) and Victoria, where an exciting proposal to stage the major multi-sport competition across the State was agreed.
The proposal capitalises on the 2026/30 Strategic Roadmap, which provides renewed flexibility to be innovative and creative in delivering the Games.
In what will be a first ever predominantly regional Commonwealth Games, Victoria 2026 will be staged in March 2026 across multiple cities and regional hubs including Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland.
The Opening Ceremony will take place at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. The approach will showcase the best of what the State has to offer and ensure a uniquely Victorian experience for the athletes and spectators.
There will be a phased approach in creating the sports programme for Victoria 2026. An initial 16 sports have been put forward for the Games, with further sports to be added later this year.
The CGF, CGAus and Victoria entered an exclusive dialogue period in February 2022. A CGF and CGAus visit to Victoria took place later that month. This was followed by a Victoria 2026 delegation presenting their 2026 Games Proposal to the CGF Executive Board in Birmingham, England in March 2022.
The Proposal has now been approved by the CGF Executive Board, with the Host Contract to be signed in Victoria today.
CGF President Dame Louise Martin said: “The Commonwealth Games Federation is absolutely delighted to award the 2026 Commonwealth Games to Victoria.
"Commonwealth Games Australia and the Victorian Government have set out a bold and innovative vision for hosting our major multi-sport event.
"In Victoria, we believe we have found the perfect partner for the next stage of our journey.
"This is a very special moment for the Commonwealth Sport Family and on behalf of the entire Movement, I would like to congratulate Commonwealth Games Australia and Victoria on their successful Games submission.
"We now look forward to a bright future as we work together to stage a Commonwealth Games like no other.”
Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews said: “It’s a great honour to have Victoria chosen as the host venue for the 2026 Commonwealth Games – we can’t wait to welcome the world to all of our state.”
“The Commonwealth Games in regional Victoria is great for jobs, hospitality and our economy."
Australia has staged the Commonwealth Games on five occasions, with Victoria playing host to the Melbourne 2006 Games; widely considered one of the most successful editions of the event in history.
The country has also staged the Games in Sydney in 1938, Perth in 1962, Brisbane in 1982 and most recently Gold Coast in 2018. Victoria has also hosted the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo in 2004."
Commonwealth Games Australia President Ben Houston said: “Commonwealth Games Australia is thrilled to welcome the athletes of the Commonwealth back to Australia and we look forward to working with both the CGF and the Victorian Government to bring the Games to life across Victoria in 2026.”
“A home Games will provide immeasurable benefits for our Member sports and will inspire our athletes in what will be a unique and exciting Games.”
The 2026 Games will be the 23rd edition of the major multi-sport competition, which first began in Hamilton, Canada in 1930.
Victoria is a world leading major events and tourism destination. The State has a strong track record for staging high profile sporting competitions including The Australian Open tennis grand slam, the Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Melbourne Cup.
Victoria also regularly hosts elite cricket, golf and Australian Rules Football competition.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games will be staged in Birmingham, England from 28 July – 8 August.