Commonwealth Games Scotland explores rescue plan to host 2026 Games

Friday 12th April 2024

Scotland’s 4x400m men set a National Record at Glasgow 2024 (photo by Bobby Gavin)

Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) can confirm the development of an innovative concept that could provide a solution for the 2026 Commonwealth Games without the need for significant public investment.

The Commonwealth Games is crucial to the health of Scottish sport; the four-yearly event is the pinnacle for several sports and represents the only chance for many athletes to compete for Scotland on a global stage.

The Games were due to be held in Australia in 2026 but Victoria, the host state, pulled out of the agreement last year.

Our priority is to ensure a Games takes place in 2026, and we are encouraged by the news that the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) are in advanced discussions with other nations.

However if an alternative solution cannot be secured within the coming weeks, we are ready to explore our concept with the CGF and key partners in greater detail, with the aim of delivering a world class-sporting event in Scotland using a model that could be replicated for future editions.

A feasibility study was commissioned by Commonwealth Games Scotland in December 2023 to assess Scotland’s viability as a cost-effective alternative host, following the Commonwealth Games Federation’s decision to make available £100m to host nations for a 2026 Games as part of the Victoria settlement agreement.

We are satisfied that the concept developed could see a refreshed format for the Games, that would see it be delivered on time and on budget, providing significant benefit to the Scottish economy and a potential blueprint for a sustainable Games model of the future.

The concept includes:

– Significantly reduced budget costing £130-150 million, with no significant ask of public funds.

– Core sport programme of 10-13 sports.

– Use of existing sporting venues and accommodation options, rather than developing purpose-build facilities.

The concept would be funded by £100million from the Commonwealth Games Federation, with the balance through commercial income (ticketing, sponsorship, broadcasting etc).

Ian Reid CBE, Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said:

‘We know how important the Commonwealth Games is for athletes, sports and supporters, and we remain concerned about the impact the ongoing uncertainty around 2026 is having on everyone concerned.

‘It is vital that a Games takes place in this cycle, and we are hopeful that a positive outcome can be delivered through the CGF’s discussions with other nations.

‘We also wanted to ensure that we had left no stone unturned in the search for solutions, should a viable alternative fail to materialise, but recognised the need for a model that did not rely on large public investment.

‘Glasgow has a fantastic track record of delivering large sporting events within sensible budgets, with world class facilities and expertise already in place as a legacy of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games a decade ago.

‘We believe our concept provides the CGF with a viable, cost effective and exciting solution which importantly won’t involve significant sums of public funding.

‘We look forward to discussing the concept further with the CGF, our member sports, athletes and wider partners.’

Tags: Commonwealth Games Scotland, Team Scotland

Expand Social Feeds