Scottish Commonwealth body proposes plan for 2026 Games

Scotland's Commonwealth Games body has developed a "cost-effective" way to host the beleaguered 2026 event in Glasgow that would not require "significant public investment".

Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) commissioned a feasibility study in December after the Australian state of Victoria announced in 2023 that it had pulled out of hosting the event. 

The study helped to develop the proposals CGS said could be run for between Stg130 million ($A250 million) and Stg150 million ($A288 million).

CGS said the event could bring in more than Stg100 million ($A192 million), with existing sports facilities to be used instead of creating purpose-built arenas and athletes to be housed in local hotels rather than an athletes' village. 

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has pledged to provide Stg100 million to the chosen host nation, while the remaining budget would be funded by ticket sales and broadcasting rights, CGS said. 

The usual program, however, would need to be slashed to 10 to 13 events. 

Athletes on a running track
Victoria announced in 2023 that it had pulled out of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Glasgow last hosted the Games in 2014,  when 18 events were contested. 

The CGF is due to make a final decision on the host nation in May, with reports on Friday suggesting Glasgow could be a backup option "should a viable alternative fail to materialise". 

"We know how important the Commonwealth Games is for athletes, sports and supporters, and we remain concerned about the impact the ongoing uncertainty around 2026 is having on everyone concerned," CGS chair Ian Reid said. 

"It is vital that a Games takes place in this cycle, and we are hopeful that a positive outcome can be delivered through the CGF's discussions with other nations. 

"We also wanted to ensure that we had left no stone unturned in the search for solutions should a viable alternative fail to materialise but recognised the need for a model that did not rely on large public investment." 

Reid said Glasgow had a "fantastic track record" of delivering large sporting events within sensible budgets, world-class facilities and expertise already in place as a legacy of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

"We believe our concept provides the CGF with a viable, cost-effective and exciting solution which importantly won't involve significant sums of public funding," he said.

A Scottish government spokesperson said the event was hugely important for Scotland and Scottish athletes.

"The key priority for the Scottish government is the continuation of the movement," the spokesperson said. 

"The 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games received international recognition as an outstanding fortnight of sporting and cultural events. 

"The CGF has confirmed it is working with a number of Commonwealth Games associations to reset and reframe the Games. 

"This process is ongoing and we continue to engage with CGS on their proposals."

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