Gold Coast withdraws bid to host 2026 Commonwealth Games in another blow to struggling event

Australia's Gold Coast has withdrawn its bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, citing lack of support from state or federal governments.

The AU$700 million (NZ$752 million) joint bid with Perth for the quadrennial multi-sport event did not receive government backing, after Victoria's withdrawal in July, due to budget overruns.

"We did our best and that's all people can expect," said Mayor Tom Tate. "Sadly, at the same time, our country's reputation as a place that reneges on a global sports contract remains in tatters.

Birmingham Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.
Birmingham Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. Photo credit: Getty Images

"In simple terms, it seems our Games vision doesn't align with the vision of the state or federal governments."

The news comes two months after Commonwealth Games Australia chief executive Craig Phillips said the Games global governing body was open to delaying the event a year to give potential hosts more time to prepare.

The future of the Games remains up in the air, with Canada's Alberta province also withdrawing its support for a bid for the 2030 event.

Tate adds that the proposal received overwhelming support from locals, athletes and business people, who want to see "the event saved".

"Our dual proposal would have delivered billions into the national economy, and given athletes and para-athletes a clear pathway towards the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics and Paralympics, and then onto the 2032 Games in Queensland."

By far the Games' most successful competing nation, Australia has hosted five of the previous 22 editions.