With doubts over Hamilton, Adelaide offers timely 2026 boost for CGF
Australia could come to the rescue of the Commonwealth Games Federation, with a potential bid from Adelaide to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games deemed economically viable and of benefit to South Australia.
Hamilton in Canada looked primed to be awarded the 2026 games unopposed, but concerns have arisen in the last week over financial guarantees offered by the provincial government.
Now, Commonwealth Games Australia has announced it is committed to hosting a Commonwealth Games and that with the 2026 edition "without a confirmed host... Adelaide is extremely well positioned to host these Games."
In support of a potential bid, CGA commissioned a report from PwC, which has now been delivered to the South Australia state government.
The Games Value Framework Report, 'The Case for the Adelaide 2026 Commonwealth Games', released today, is based on economic analysis and benefits of hosting previous games, combined with the new games operating and delivery model of the CGF.
The reports claims there would be: an economic boost of up to A$2.5 billion ($1.8 billion) economic boost for South Australia, before, during and after the games; A$790 million in trade deals and investments to South Australia; capacity to significantly re-boot the post-Covid economy via employment and infrastructure outcomes aligned with the State’s Sports Infrastructure Plan and other key Government objectives; and the positioning of Adelaide as a world-class events city that builds upon events such as road cycling's Tour Down Under and Adelaide Festival.
The estimated net cost of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games to the South Australian Government would be A$650 million in operating costs with an additional A$350 million in legacy infrastructure.
Gold Coast, Queensland only hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2018, and the report found the games delivered significant host city benefits, including 21,000 jobs, 250,000 additional hotel visitor nights, 25 per cent increase in tourism in the three years post games. In addition, 87 per cent of games-related contracts on the Gold Coast were awarded to local businesses.
CGA has recently re-engaged with the state government to discuss the potential bid, and president Ben Houston said: “In September 2019, the South Australian Government received a report outlining costs associated with hosting the games and based on that report determined not to proceed with a feasibility study for a potential bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games. This was a decision we respected.
“However, a number of important elements have changed since that time, including the cost basis of delivering the Games due in large part to a new delivery model. These areas included reducing the venues required for the Games, flexibility in the sports program, continuity of supplier arrangements over multiple Games cycles, reduced workforce costs and flexibility in Games Village solutions. Many of these changes are currently being realised with the delivery of Birmingham 2022.”
Houston continued: “Adelaide presents a very compelling option as a Games host. It’s the perfect location and much of the facilities and infrastructure required to host the Games are already in place.”
“Of course we understand the current climate in which we are all in, however like our athletes, we must look forward and it is our view that a Commonwealth Games in South Australia would provide the launchpad for a range of projects that leave a long lasting legacy for all South Australians.”
Australia has hosted the Empire/Commonwealth Games on five occasions, but never in Adelaide.
Birmingham, England will play host in 2022, and the flag looked set to be handed over to Hamilton, but the Ontario provincial government is increasingly unlikely to support a bid, citing the financial implications of Covid-19.
With Toronto set to stage matches at the Fifa World Cup, also in 2026, that event appears to be the priority of the province.
The CGF has spent a considerable amount of time and resources working with Hamilton as a preferred bidder for 2026, albeit the city admitted in August that it would miss a funding deadline of late September which had been set by the CGF to secure financial support from city and federal authorities.
The CGF is still hopeful of selecting a host city for the 2026 games by the end of this year.Sportcal