Games-Gold Coast pulls bid for 2026 Commonwealth Games

FILE PHOTO: Surfers sit on top of their boards as people walk along the shoreline at sunset on Palm Beach, located on the Gold Coast, Australia April 2, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

MELBOURNE (Reuters) -Australia's Gold Coast has dropped its bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, citing a lack of government support.

Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate had floated holding a "stream-lined" Games with Western Australia state capital Perth but conceded the vision did not "align" with state and federal governments.

"We did our best and that's all people can expect," Tate said in a statement.

"Our dual proposal with Perth would have saved Australia's tarnished reputation, delivered billions into the national economy and given athletes, and para-athletes, a clear pathway towards other international competitions including the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics and Paralympics and then on to the 2032 Games in Queensland."

The Gold Coast successfully hosted the 2018 Games.

Australia's southern state of Victoria pulled out of hosting the 2026 event in July, citing a projected cost blow-out.

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

Australia's Commonwealth Games boss Craig Phillips said in September the 2026 Games could be pushed back a year to allow another Australian host time to step in.

However, on Monday he said it was more likely they would end up outside Australia.

"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 told Australian Associated Press.

"But if that doesn't materialise, then other options are certainly very much on the table."

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

($1 = 1.5002 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne and Janina Nuno Rios in Mexico City;Editing by Christian Radnedge/Peter Rutherford)

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