Melbourne to explore feasibility of hosting 2026 Commonwealth Games – report

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Local government officials in Melbourne are studying the feasibility of the city and surrounding region hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games, local media reported on Wednesday.

The 2022 edition of the multisport gathering, mostly for former British colonies, will be held in the English city of Birmingham in July and August, but the 2026 Games will remain unhosted.

Melbourne’s Age newspaper on Wednesday quoted an unnamed senior Victoria state government official as saying the city wanted to step into the breach.

“We’ve had discussions with the CGF (Commonwealth Games Federation) and are doing some preliminary studies to see if it works,” the official told the newspaper.

“We have a tight timeframe and need to bring the facilities up to date. But it would have a regional focus.”

Australia, by far the most successful of the competing nations and territories, has hosted five of the previous 21 editions of the Games, with Gold Coast hosting in 2018.

Melbourne hosted the 2006 Games and already has plenty of facilities to welcome 5,000 athletes on short notice.

There was no immediate response from the Commonwealth Games Federation to a request for comment on the report.

Birmingham were initially interested in hosting the 2026 Games but stepped in to take on the 2022 edition when the South African city of Durban lost hosting rights due to funding issues.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, Editing Michael Perry)

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