- The Australian state of Victoria has canceled plans to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games due to budget concerns, putting the next edition of the multi-sport event in doubt.1
- Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the decision on Tuesday, stating that revised estimates suggest the cost of the 12-day tournament have overrun from A$2.6B ($1.7B) to nearly A$7B ($4.77B).2
- Commonwealth Games officials, however, claimed that the figure was grossly exaggerated and argued that the government was to blame for the price escalation, due to the decision to opt for a "unique regional delivery model."3
- Last year, Victoria volunteered to host the 2026 Games in the regional hubs of Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, and Gippsland, projecting a resulting economic boost of more than A$3B ($2B). The cost of breaking the hosting contract is reportedly yet to be decided.4
- While the state previously hosted the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, the last edition held in Australia was on the Gold Coast, Queensland state, in 2018 — an area scheduled to host events during the Brisbane 2032 Olympics.5
- The 2026 Games were originally awarded to the British city of Birmingham, which stepped up to host the 2022 edition after Durban, South Africa, was stripped of its hosting rights in 2017, prompting speculation that the city could host back-to-back Games.6
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Spectator (UK). The 2026 Commonwealth Games is under threat because an irresponsible political stratagem led Victoria's Labor premier to increase spending ahead of last year's state election, with the aim of helping his party secure a majority. Now that political goal has been achieved, it has suddenly been declared that the state will not host the event, despite the damage it does to Australia's credibility and reputation. Opportunistic electioneering has put these Games at risk.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Guardian. Though it's too early to declare that the days of the Commonwealth Games are over, this cancelation undeniably poses an existential threat to the Olympics-lite second-tier event created for the outdated purpose of celebrating the oppressive history of the British empire and its colonial past. Unless the Games can adapt to modern values, its demise is positive news, as it will mean funding is redirected into social policies.