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Victoria confirmed as host for 2026 Commonwealth Games, to be held in March in five cities

The 23rd edition of the Commonwealth Games will be held in five cities in the Victoria state of Australia in March 2026, the Commonwealth Games Federation (GCF) has confirmed.

The host city contract was signed in Victoria on Monday.

“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 GCF informed in a release.

The announcement follows a successful exclusive dialogue period between the GCF, Commonwealth Games Australia (CGAus) and Victoria, where an exciting proposal to stage the major multi-sport competition across the State was agreed upon.

The proposal capitalises on the 2026/30 Strategic Roadmap, which provides renewed flexibility to be innovative and creative in delivering the Games, the CGF said.

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 Sports 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,” she said.

On the occasion, Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews said, “It’s a great honor to have Victoria chosen as the host venue for the 2026 Commonwealth Games — we can’t wait to welcome the world to our state.”

“The Commonwealth Games in regional Victoria is great for jobs, hospitality and our economy,” he added.

“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,” he added.

Victoria 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. The Melbourne Cricket Ground is a major cricket venue in Australia and hosts international and domestic matches regularly.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games will be staged in Birmingham, England from July 28 to August 8.

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