The Gold Coast has withdrawn its bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, the city’s mayor has said. In a statement, Tom Tate said: “We did our best and that’s all people can expect.
“In simple terms, it seems our Games’ vision doesn’t align with the vision of the state or federal governments.”
The move comes after the Australian state of Victoria announced in July that it was to withdraw as host due to the cost of the event breaching estimates by around five billion Australian dollars (£2.6bn).
Then state premier Daniel Andrews told media in Melbourne at the time he was not prepared to spend up to seven billion dollars (£3.6bn) on a “12-day sporting event”.
The state ultimately agreed to pay £190m to the Commonwealth Games Federation, Commonwealth Games Federation Partnerships and Commonwealth Games Australia for its decision.
The Commonwealth Games Australia chief executive, Craig Phillips, concedes shifting the multi-sport event outside of the nation is increasingly likely. “We have indicated to (the CGF) … they would have our support in doing that,” Phillips told AAP on Monday. “It’s our preference to host here and we will keep going while we think we have got options to explore. But if they have a better option, then they should seriously consider it.”
Asked if he thought the 2026 Games would probably take place outside Australia, Phillips said: “I think so. The people we spoke to in the Commonwealth Games family, I believe that the sentiment is very much still that the first priority is there is a solution here in Australia,” he said. “But if that doesn’t materialise, then other options are certainly very much on the table.
“We have made it clear to the CGF that we feel an obligation to host, we would like to host. But if they come up with a better solution for themselves then ultimately so be it.”