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$243M Settlement Highlights Fallout From Commonwealth Games Withdrawal

  • To make up for its withdrawal as host of the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Victoria will pay $243 million
  • The state in southeastern Australia had originally agreed to host the event in March 2022.
Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

A $3 billion budget blunder involving one of the world’s oldest sporting events will ultimately cost an Australian state an exorbitant sum.

To make up for its withdrawal as host of the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Victoria — a state in southeastern Australia — will pay $243 million to event organizers, who are still searching for a country to hold the next iteration of the games in just three years.

In July, Victoria premier Daniel Andrews nixed hosting duties agreed to in March 2022, claiming the Games could potentially cost up to $4.8 billion — a significantly higher figure than the $1.77 billion originally budgeted. 

The Commonwealth Games are a quadrennial event akin to the Olympics involving up to 56 sovereign states around the world, most of them former territories of the British Empire.

Despite the seemingly wasted costs, Andrews said the settlement was “the best outcome that Victoria could get.”

Future Games In Doubt?

The Commonwealth Games were also recently rejected by Alberta, Canada — previously thought to be a logical choice to host the 2030 edition — raising plenty of questions as to the long-term viability and purpose of a competition whose participating nations are also able to compete in the Olympics and other world championships.

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