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Are There Any Cities Frontrunning For The 2026 Commonwealth Games?

The sporting world is still in shock over Premier Dan Andrew’s decision to axe the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria.

While Victorians continue to question how the budget estimates for the Games were so wrong, another looms among the Commonwealth: who will host the 2026 Games?

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The mayor of Christchurch, New Zealand Phil Mauger told Chris Lynch Media the city should “push in” and host the Games.

“You know that I’m a fan of doing it in 2034, but now that Victoria has said enough is enough, let’s see if we can jump in there,” he said.

“The New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) are the ones who can push it and do it, and if they think there’s a glimmer of hope that we can, I think we should push in and do as much as we can.”

However, NZOC CEO Nicki Nicol indicated even though Victoria’s decision was “incredibly disappointing”, the country would not be contesting for the 2026 Games.

“This unexpected announcement is unsettling for New Zealand team athletes who were working towards a Games close to home in just under three years,” she said.

“We are looking to the Commonwealth Games Federation as it begins a process to appoint a new host for 2026.”

Australian city alternatives?

The rejection from New Zealand comes after Australia’s other states and territories all refused to take on the Games.

Queensland was immediate to say no, citing its focus is on the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games.

New South Wales and Western Australia looked like potential candidates with former Australian Olympic Committee boss John Coates advocating for Sydney and Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas for Perth.

NSW Premier Chris Minns swiftly denied intervening. “We’re not bidding for the Commonwealth Games, and we’re not going to take them on,” he said.

“We have world-class facilities, but we’re facing unprecedented debt in the state. I can’t commit to a massive project that we might not be able to complete.”

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