India’s Ahmedabad to consider 2026 Commonwealth Games bid after Victoria bows out

Ahmedabad, India is reportedly considering a bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games after Victoria in Australia walked away from its hosting assignment on Monday.

Narendra Modi Stadium (known as Motera) in Ahmedabad is being proposed to host Opening Ceremony as part of the India 2036 Olympic bid
Narendra Modi Stadium (known as Motera) in Ahmedabad is being proposed to host Opening Ceremony as part of the India 2036 Olympic bid

Victoria’s state government canceled plans after learning that costs to host the event have more than doubled to AUD $6 billion since the hosting contract was signed in April 2022. The development leaves the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) with the daunting task of reallocating the event less than three years from the opening ceremony.

But the Times of India revealed Tuesday that Ahmedabad already had a vision to bid for the 2030 centennial edition of the Games, and development plans could be accelerated to meet the 2026 target. City officials have been working towards a 2036 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid – the next available edition following Paris 2024, Los Angeles, 2028 and Brisbane 2032 – and Australian-based Populous design consultants are already in the city working on a master plan due to be constructed by 2028.

Government officials believe the necessary work to support a Commonwealth Games could be completed by 2026.

“The projects of Ahmedabad’s bid for the 2036 Olympics will be completed by 2026,” a government source told Times of India.

“Following the development of Victoria pulling out of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Gujarat [state] is confident that it will get a nod from the Union [national] government to make a bid for the 2026 Games at Ahmedabad.”

In development is the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave which will cover and area of 236 acres at Motera near the Narendra Modi stadium and the Naranpura Sports Complex. It will provide most of the facilities needed to host the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games and is expected to support 20 sports and provide accommodations for athletes, staff and officials.

The state government has already set up advisory and executive committees with government and sports stakeholders with a vision for future multi-sport events.

India last hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2010 in Delhi.

Earlier Tuesday it was reported that London Mayor Sadiq Khan said his city would be available to host the 2026 Games using legacy from the 2012 Olympics.

In a statement Tuesday the CGF said “We are taking advice on the options available to us and remain committed to finding a solution for the Games in 2026 that is in the best interest of our athletes and the wider Commonwealth Sport Movement.”

Some Commonwealth nations are hoping the CGF will find a solution in Australia, but many previous candidates from across that country have already opted out.

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.

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