Scotland could host part of 2026 Commonwealth Games

19/07/2023
Eilish McColgan's 10,000 metres victory

FIRST Minister Humza Yousaf said yesterday he is willing to consider proposals for Scotland to host at least part of the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

The Australian state of Victoria cancelled its plan to stage the event due to soaring costs – raising doubts about whether it will go ahead at all.

Mr Yousaf said he was “really disappointed” by the news.

Ex-Commonwealth Games Scotland chairman Paul Bush has suggested the nation could be a joint host for the event.

Mr Yousaf said: “We were desperate for the games to go ahead in 2026 given that we know how excellent the preparations have been going for Team Scotland.”

He added: “It’s early days. I’ve noted the comments from Paul Bush and Commonwealth Games Scotland, looking at and exploring the possibility of whether or not Scotland could be part of something bigger, part of a multi-city, multi-country host.

‘Sensible ideas’

“Those are sensible ideas all worth exploring. We certainly couldn’t commit to anything at this stage.”

Scotland has previously hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1970, 1986 and 2014.

Commonwealth Games Scotland said it was “shocked” by the announcement from Victoria with preparations well under way for the 2026 event.

“The games is the only opportunity for many athletes to compete under the Scottish flag, and we know how much that means to them, our sports and supporters,” it said in a statement.

“We share their disappointment with today’s announcement and recognise the uncertainty it creates for all parties.”

The organisation said it was awaiting an update from the Commonwealth Games Federation.

The event was last held in Birmingham in 2022, with Eilish McColgan’s 10,000 metres victory the highlight during a games of historic success for Team Scotland.

First held in 1930, the Commonwealth Games have only ever been cancelled during World War II.

The BBC says the latest cost projection for the 2026 event had risen to more than £3.13billion, according to organisers, who said the new figure was more than twice the estimated economic benefit it would bring to Victoria.

The total cost of the 2014 games in Glasgow was about £543million.

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