Covid burden scares state off 2026 Games bid

Perth handled two teams from Victoria pretty well, can we host 72 teams from 54 countries for the Commonwealth Games? Photo supplied by City of Perth.

LORD mayor Basil Zempilas wants Perth to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games after the AFL Grand Final stress test went down a treat, but the McGowan government isn’t getting on board til Covid’s disqualified. 

During grand final celebrations from September 19 to 26 there was about 70 per cent more pedestrian traffic in the city compared to the same week in 2020. 

“It is my belief we can be a city of big events and a city of big opportunities,” Mr Zempilas said in a statement.

“That’s why I am suggesting the City of Perth along with the state and federal governments make a serious bid for the Commonwealth Games 2026.”

Too costly

Back in 2018 the state government was considering nominating Perth as host for the 2026 games, but the bid was abandoned as too costly when the bill estimate came in at $1 billion.

That included $550m just to build a village for the competing athletes.

Three years on the state’s even less keen, countering with a statement pouring cold water on Mr Zempilas’s plan saying it’ll still cost a billion dollars, plus they have Covid and hospital funding to focus on. 

Likely bidders to host in 2026 are Sydney, the city of Victoria in Canada, and Shah Alam in Malaysia, and India and Sri Lanka are both pondering nominating a city. 

The last time Perth had a Commonwealth Games was in 1962 and we got a Beatty Park Leisure Centre out of it.

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