Local government officials in Melbourne are looking at the feasibility of the city and surrounding region hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games, local media reported on Wednesday.
The 2022 edition of the multi-sport gathering for mostly former British colonies takes place in the English city of Birmingham in July and August, but the 2026 Games remain without a host.
Melbourne’s Age newspaper quoted on Wednesday an unnamed senior official in the Victoria state government as saying that the city was looking at stepping into the breach.
“We’ve had discussions with the CGF (Commonwealth Games Federation) and we are doing some preliminary studies to see if it works,” the official told the newspaper.
“We’ve got a short timeframe and we need to have the facilities up to speed. But it would have a regional focus.”
Australia, by far the most successful of the competing nations and territories, has staged five of the previous 21 editions of the Games with Gold Coast hosting in 2018.
Melbourne hosted the 2006 Games and has many of the facilities already in place to welcome 5,000 athletes at reasonably short notice.
“The CGF remains in positive dialogue with a number of Commonwealth Games Associations that are interested in hosting future editions of the Commonwealth Games,” said a CGF spokesperson.
“We are working hard to secure a host for the 2026 Games in advance of Birmingham 2022 and are confident this timeline will be achieved.”
Birmingham was initially interested in staging the 2026 Games but stepped in to take on the 2022 edition when the South African city of Durban was stripped of hosting rights because of funding issues.