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Australia Blames $3B Budget Blunder For Pulling Out Of Commonwealth Games 

  • The state of Victoria has pulled out of hosting the event due to a botched budget.
  • The quadrennial event now needs a new host country for the 2026 edition.
Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

A $3 billion budget fiasco has left one of the world’s oldest and largest global sporting competitions without a host country — just three years before its next iteration.

The Australian state of Victoria has pulled out of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games — a quadrennial event much akin to the Olympics involving up to 56 sovereign states around the world, most of them former territories of the British Empire. 

Victoria premier Dan Andrews said the cost of the Games could reach $4.8 billion — a significantly higher figure than the $1.77 billion originally budgeted. 

Australia has hosted five Commonwealth Games, most recently in 2018 at the Gold Coast in Queensland. Other recent host countries include England (2022), Scotland (2014), and India (2010).

Next steps for finding a 2026 host country are unclear at the moment.

Cost Cap

Victoria’s decision only highlights the growing difficulty of hosting major international sporting events. 

In another case, the International Olympic Committee currently only enters into negotiations with select cities to host the Olympics, then announces a preferred host — compared with years past, when multiple cities would spend millions on bids to attract the Games. The Tokyo 2020 bid alone reportedly cost $75 million.

The IOC is also stressing that cities have existing infrastructure in place rather than build completely new venues, a move designed to bring down costs for future hosts.

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