The Canadian province of Alberta has withdrawn its support for a bid to host the 2030 Commonwealth Games over rising costs in another blow to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

Commonwealth Sport Canada (CSC) said it had been informed by the Alberta government that it was ending its efforts towards bidding for the event, which was to be staged in the cities of Calgary and Edmonton, due to predicted costs of C$2.7 billion ($2 billion) in staging the event.

The decision comes only weeks after the Australian state of Victoria pulled out of staging the 2026 Commonwealth Games for similar reasons.

In a statement, CSC said: “We believe the recent decision by the Victorian government to withdraw from the 2026 Commonwealth Games was a significant factor in Alberta's decision, as well as an over-dependence on taxpayers' support for the planning and delivery of the games.

“Commonwealth Sport Canada is profoundly disappointed in Alberta Government's decision but respects their right to make this decision.”

The multi-sport event involves thousands of athletes representing 72 Commonwealth countries and territories and is held every four years.

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Alberta was selected as CSC’s preferred bidder for the 2030 edition after the collapse of the campaign from Hamilton, which had been hoping to mark the centenary of staging the first Empire Games in 1930.

The Alberta government had committed up to $2 million, with the city of Edmonton supplying another $1 million to explore the feasibility of hosting the event before making a formal bid.

However, Joseph Schow, Alberta’s minister of tourism and sport, said the province could not justify the cost of hosting the event, adding: “The corporate sponsorship model and limited broadcast revenues for the Commonwealth Games would have put 93% of those costs and risks on taxpayers.”

Responding to the decision, CFG said: “The CFG is sorry to hear that Alberta is no longer developing its bid proposal for the 2030 Commonwealth Games.

“We thank all those who worked on Alberta’s inspiring and comprehensive plan and we believe the province could be a fantastic host for the Commonwealth Games in the future.

“We had already been reviewing our selection timeline as a result of the recent Victorian government decision. The dialogue with other potential hosts is ongoing.”

This latest news will come as another blow to CFG, with the governing body previously struggling to find future hosts for its events and questions raised for the future of the games going forward.

The last edition in 2022 was hosted by the English city Birmingham, which stepped in to replace Durban, South Africa, which faced financial issues, while Victoria’s withdrawal last month from hosting the 2026 edition has forced the CGF to search for a new partner with just three years to go.

Victoria was announced as a host last March after organizers had struggled to find an appropriate location due to a lack of interest and Covid-19 disruption. However, the state government’s decision to terminate its deal came after new estimates suggested it would cost around AU$7 billion ($4.60 billion) to stage the event.

Australian cities Sydney and Adelaide previously expressed an interest in hosting the event and there had been reports of Malaysia and India being in the mix.

Previous host Birmingham was also reported to be open to hosting the event back-to-back due to the success of last year’s event. In April, it was reported New Zealand expressed a tentative interest in hosting the 2034 Commonwealth Games.

Image: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images