West Midlands Mayor Andy Street reacts to calls for Birmingham to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026

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Victoria in Australia has pulled out of hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2026 - amid calls for Birmingham to step in again

As things stand, there is no host for the Commonwealth Games in 2026 following the Australian state of Victoria’s decision to withdraw, citing rising costs. 

Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews said he was not prepared to spend up to £3.6 billion on the event.

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In July, calls were made for Birmingham to become the ‘Commonwealth City’ and for the Games to be permanently staged in the city following the success of 2022. “The opportunity for the city is huge and should be investigated,” the city’s Conservative leader Robert Alden said.

However, given the council’s perilous financial situation in which it must find £300m of savings across the next two financial years, Mayor Mr Street downplayed the prospect of Birmingham hosting the Games again.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Closing CeremonyBirmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony
Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony | LDRS

Asked if Birmingham and the West Midlands could step up given there are currently no hosts for the 2026 or 2030 Games, Mr Street told BBC WM: “There is still nobody and we are not stepping forward.

“We did a brilliant job and it did us a fantastic legacy for Birmingham and the West Midlands in terms of our reputation around the world – but I’ve always believed as much as we could do it and would love to do it, it would be wrong for the Games. It has to be something that travels around the Commonwealth.

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“If you want my bet, the Australians will still step forward in some form I’m sure. You cannot have a country that loves its sport, that’s going to be the host of the 2032 Olympic Games failing to honour what they said they would do. Thus far, there are lots and lots of machinations still going on in Australia.”

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