Geelong prepared for 2026 Games bid

January 29, 2022 BY

Geelong would host hockey at an upcoming Commonwealth Games under a proposed regional Victorian joint bid. Hockeyroo Tim Howard is pictured at last year's Olympic Games. Photo: JOE GIDDENS/ AAP IMAGE

SPECULATION has reignited that Geelong could be among the hosts of an upcoming Commonwealth Games.

City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) deputy mayor Trent Sullivan says the city is open to joint bids alongside Melbourne or as part of a regional alliance that could bring marquee events to local venues including a redeveloped Kardinia Park precinct and Geelong Waterfront.

Reports emerged last week that the event’s governing body, Commonwealth Games Federation, had approached Victoria about staging the 2026 event as it continues its search for a host.

Premier Daniel Andrews stoked speculation when asked about the potential bid, indicating the state government was involved in discussions to attract blue-ticket sporting events.

“There’s always a hunger for big major events in our state, because they underpin jobs,” he said.

“We’re out there chasing every worthwhile major event to support those jobs and to support our brand and reputation and that part of the economy that’s so important.”

Cr Sullivan said the CoGG welcomed the idea of an earlier-than-expected Victorian bid.

“The economic benefits of hosting the Games are enormous and Geelong is ready to play a key role in delivering it if the Government proceeds with a bid,” he said.

CoGG was previously involved in a Greater Victoria bid for the 2030 Games, which was spearheaded by Shepparton’s council and launched in 2017.

Greater Victoria 2030 proposed to spread events across 10 regional Victorian centres, including Bendigo, Ballarat, Traralgon, Warrnambool, Wodonga, Nagambie and Yarrawonga.

It slated Geelong to host rugby sevens at Kardinia Park, hockey at Stead Park Hockey Centre and gymnastics at the soon-to-be-built Geelong Convention Centre.

Cr Sullivan also pointed to Geelong Arena, Kardinia Aquatic Centre and the waterfront as potential venues.

He said the city also had suitable facilities for athletics, cricket, basketball, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, judo and table tennis, and that it could accommodate large-scale sports such as road cycling, triathlons and marathons.

A decision on the 2026 host is expected in March, ahead of this year’s Games at Birmingham, England during July and August.