Singapore rules out hosting 2026 Commonwealth Games

Fireworks go off at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony held at Alexander Stadium. - ST FILE

SINGAPORE: The search for a new host for the 2026 Commonwealth Games continues, with Singapore deciding not to make a bid to organise the upcoming edition of the multi-sport event.

In a joint statement issued on Wednesday (April 3), Commonwealth Games Singapore (CGS) and Sport Singapore (SportSG) said that they “have studied the feasibility of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games and have decided not to make any bid to host the Games”.

It is yet another blow for the event, which remains in limbo after the Australian state of Victoria, the original host, pulled out due to escalating costs. The budget had ballooned to A$7 billion (S$6.15 billion) from the original estimate of A$2.6 billion.

Following this, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) at its general assembly in November 2023 invited all its associations, including Singapore’s, to express their interest in taking over and confirmed £100 million (S$170 million) in “financial and strategic support” for the next host.

CGS and SportSG said in March that it was “assessing the feasibility of the invite”, though experts told The Straits Times that staging the quadrennial event may not make sense for Singapore, citing reasons such as high costs and a tight timeline.

Australian cities Gold Coast, which hosted the 2018 Games, and Perth, also subsequently dropped their joint bid for the 2026 Games, citing a lack of support from the state or federal governments.

The Malaysian government had considered hosting the 2026 event, but eventually rejected the offer due to time constraints, costs and an insufficient offer of funding.

Over 5,000 athletes from 72 nations and territories competed in the 2022 Birmingham Games across 280 events in 20 sports. Singapore took home four gold, four silver and four bronze medals. - The Straits Times/ANN

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