The 2026 Commonwealth Games cancellation costs

Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews was unhappy with the escalation of costs to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games. He claims that “with 973 days until the start of the Games, the original forecast budget for the event of $2.6 billion (£1.3 billion/$1.7 billion/€1.5 billion) was now expected to be $6 billion (£3.1 billion/$4 billion/€3.6 billion).”

Six billion dollars is a lot of money. And certainly, when expectations were for a spend of $2.6 billion, it looks like an out-of-control escalation. Andrews, however, feels that $380 million is an acceptable amount to buy nothing at all.

The $380m will be paid to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), Commonwealth Games Federation Partnerships and Commonwealth Games Australia. The breakdown of how the money has been shared was not explained. However, the point is to settle expenses caused by the cancellation.

The reputational damage that the state of Victoria will endure, may be even more expensive.

Who knows how much it will cost taxpayers to have Victoria 2026 lawyers fly to London in July in a bid to try and reach a compensation deal with the CGF. Apparently, the lawyers are not too crafty, having completely failed to a settlement — ouch.

The notice by Andrews was late.

The 2030 bid from Alberta was also withdrawn

The province of Alberta withdrew its bid to host the Games split mostly between Calgary and Edmonton. At least seven years is a reasonable amount of notice.

Tourism minister, Joseph Schow, said that cost was behind the decision.

“It’s not a good deal for Alberta,” he said, according to the Calgary Herald. “When it comes down to it, it has to be a good deal for Alberta taxpayers and this just wasn’t that.”

The announcement was a kick in the teeth for the Games Federation after Hamilton, Ontario, which hosted the inaugural Games in 1930, suspended its bid and Victoria’s cancellation.

Jyoti Gondek said that without the support of the province, the bid was finished. “The provincial government’s decision to withdraw from Alberta’s 2030 Commonwealth Games bid process effectively terminates the bid and the City of Calgary’s participation,” the statement said.

The obvious question is, who in their right mind would bid on a major Games without knowing if the necessary bodies of government have confirmed their participation?

The Commonwealth Games will endure at some level, but the province of Alberta and the State of Victoria politicians should stay out of major event organisation. Alberta certainly won’t have a cancellation cost, However, there was at least a multi-million dollar feasibility study and the costs of the bid process.