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Australia’s Victoria confirmed as host of 2026 Commonwealth Games

VICTORIA has been confirmed as the host of the 2026 Commonwealth Games, with regional parts of the state set to host the majority of events.

The opening ceremony will be held in Melbourne at the MCG, with the rest of the events to be held in the regions.

Shepparton will also host sporting and cultural events as part of the games.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the games would be an opportunity to showcase regional parts of the state, and to invest in sporting infrastructure in those areas.

“This will be a Commonwealth Games like no other. We promised we wouldn’t be doing a re-run of 2006, as successful as that was,” he said.

“This is also about creating jobs, some nearly 4,000 jobs during the Commonwealth Games and some 3,000 enduring jobs thereafter.”

The president of the Commonwealth Games Federation Dame Louise Martin said the 2026 event would be unlike any other.

“Commonwealth Games Australia and the Victorian Government have set out a bold and innovative vision for hosting our major multi-sport event,” she said.

“In Victoria, we believe we have found the perfect partner for the next stage of our journey.”

The government announced in February it would enter a two-month negotiation period with the Commonwealth Games Federation over commercial aspects of the event.

Commonwealth Games organisers said 16 sports had so far been confirmed for the games, with more to be added later.

The Victorian Opposition welcomed the announcement, but said it wanted to see events spread across more regional towns.

“It’s not just about Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. It should be about places like Hamilton, Horsham, Wangaratta, Echuca,” Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said.

Victorian Liberal senator Sarah Henderson called on Daniel Andrews to move the opening ceremony from the MCG to Kardinia Park in Geelong.

It will be the sixth time the Commonwealth Games has been held in Australia, with Sydney hosting in 1938, Perth in 1962, Brisbane in 1982, Melbourne in 2006, and the Gold Coast in 2018.

ABC Australia

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