The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has said it will consider awarding hosting rights for both the 2026 and 2030 editions of the multi-sport event at the same time, as the 2018 Games prepares to launch tomorrow (Wednesday).
The 2018 Commonwealth Games is being hosted on the Gold Coast in Australia, and the hosting strategy for future editions of the event was on the agenda during a CGF general assembly meeting.
The membership has committed to a new consultative process of jointly scoping the 2026 and potentially 2030 Commonwealth Games host city partners, with 2026 targeted to be awarded at its next general assembly in September 2019.
The 71 Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs) were informed of an 18-month-long consultative bidding process for the XXIII and XXIV editions of the Games, under the new CGF Partnerships model, which aims to support host nations and cities and enhance the overall value of hosting the Games.
CGF president Louise Martin said: “With the much-anticipated Gold Coast 2018 about to burst into life and confirmation of Birmingham as host city partner for 2022, all our efforts are focused on capitalising on this forward momentum and the renewed relevance in our Commonwealth.
“We confirmed that we will begin an innovative and ambitious host city appointment process to secure hosts for the 2026 and potentially 2030 Commonwealth Games simultaneously, with the ambition to make an announcement at the next CGF General Assembly in September 2019. We will soon begin the process of reaching out to our 71 Commonwealth Games Associations and their national and local government partners to better understand their ambitions for their citizens and communities."
In December, Birmingham was announced as the new host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in a move that will bring the event back to England for the first time in two decades. The announcement marked the end of a difficult process for the CGF. Birmingham landed the Games after the CGF in March 2017 removed the hosting rights from Durban amid long-running concern over financing of the event in the South African city.
Durban had been the sole bidder for the 2022 Games since the Canadian city of Edmonton withdrew its bid in February 2015, citing financial concerns. A unanimous vote by the CGF in Auckland, New Zealand in September 2015 had confirmed the award of its showpiece event to an African nation for the first time in its history.
The recall of hosting rights from Durban led to a new bidding process being launched. In May 2017, the CGF announced that Australia, Canada, Malaysia and the UK were in contention to become the new host, with the level of interest shown leading the organisation to take more time over a decision.
In September, the UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) backed Birmingham’s bid over a proposition from fellow English city Liverpool. Like Liverpool, Birmingham had originally been targeting the 2026 Games, but brought forward its plans following the removal of rights from Durban.
Birmingham appeared to be in pole position to secure the Games in October after the city submitted the only confirmed bid for the event by the deadline set by the CGF. However, the CGF later extended the bidding deadline until November 30 after stating the sole bid from Birmingham was deemed to be “not fully compliant.”
In other news, the Commonwealth Sports Movement has agreed to the readmission of The Gambia to the CGF, after a five-year hiatus. Consequently, it was confirmed that the country has had six athletes approved for participation at Gold Coast 2018.