Commonwealth Games 2026: where will the next event be held, regional hubs and which sports will be part of it?

Victoria set to host 23rd Commonwealth Games, the sixth time Australia has been awarded the privilege

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Athletes from around the Commonwealth have been competing in the “friendly” games.

It has been a feast of sport, from cycling and gymnastics to hockey and weightlifting.

But which city will host the games next after Birmingham?

For the sixth time, the Commonwealth Games will be held in Australia, but for the first time a state or region has been awarded the privilege of hosting the Games.

Victoria is set to host the Games with several cities, including Melbourne, being involved.

Melbourne hosted the Games in 2006 and will once again prepare to host the opening ceremony 20 years on.

The Commonwealth Games was the first fully inclusive international multi-sport event when it was introduced in 1930 as athletes with a disability were included as full members of their national teams.

It was also the first global multi-sport event to feature and equal number of men’s and women’s medal events.

The Commonwealth Games Federation entered an ‘exclusive dialogue’ period with the Victorian authorities back in February and later announced: “The Commonwealth Games Federation is absolutely delighted to award the 2026 Commonwealth Games to Victoria.

“Commonwealth Games Australia and the Victorian Government have set out a bold and innovative vision that provides an exciting new blueprint for hosting our major multi-sport event.”

England and Canada in Rugby Sevens event at 2018 Commonwealth GamesEngland and Canada in Rugby Sevens event at 2018 Commonwealth Games
England and Canada in Rugby Sevens event at 2018 Commonwealth Games

Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews said: “This will be a Commonwealth like no other. We promised we wouldn’t be doing a re-run of 2006, as successful as that was.

“This is also about creating jobs - some nearly 4,000 jobs during the Commonwealth Games and some 3,000 enduring jobs thereafter.”

When else have Australia hosted the Commonwealth Games?

Australia hosted the last edition of the Games back in 2018 with the multi-sport tournament taking place by the country’s Gold Coast.

The first time Australia hosted the Commonwealth Games was in 1938 when Sydney was awarded the hosting role. Perth hosted the Games in 1962 before Brisbane took on the role 20 years later.

Which sports will be involved in the Commonwealth Games?

So far, 16 sports have been confirmed to take part in the Games: aquatics, volleyball, gymnastics, hockey, table tennis, triathlon, athletics, boxing, lawn bowls, netball, squash, weight lifting, badminton, T20 cricket, road cycling and rugby sevens.

Which regional centres will host the Commonwealth Games?

Melbourne Cricket Ground is set to host the opening ceremony but the athletes’ villages will be set up in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland.

Opening Ceremony at Gold Coast, Australia in 2018Opening Ceremony at Gold Coast, Australia in 2018
Opening Ceremony at Gold Coast, Australia in 2018

Each ‘cluster’ or regional hub will be set up for varying sports:


  • Aquatics (Swimming, Para swimming and diving)
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Cricket T20
  • Gymnastics
  • Hockey
  • Table Tennis, Para Table Tennis
  • Triathlon and Para Triathlon

Ballarat Cluster

  • Athletics and Para-Athletics
  • Boxing
  • Cricket T20

Bendigo cluster

  • Cricket T20
  • Cycling
  • Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls
  • Netball
  • Squash
  • Weightlifting and Para Powerlifting

Gippsland Cluster

  • Badminton
  • Cricket T20
  • Cycling 
  • Rugby Sevens

Who else bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games?

Birmingham was originally set to host the Games in 2026 but in 2017, Durban, South Africa, was stripped of its right to host the Games in 2022 due to financial issues so Birmingham stepped up to the mark.

Kuala Lumpur, Cardiff, Calgary, Edmonton and Adelaide were other contenders for the 2026 Games but ultimately withdrew their bids ahead of the decision to award Victoria with the hosting role.