(ATR) South Australia pulls the plug on plans for Adelaide to bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
Adelaide Oval (Getty Images)
The state government made the decision after a feasibility study launched in March found that hosting the event would not produce enough of boost for the local economy.
According to the independent analysis, it would cost AUS$3.5 billion (US$2.38 billion) to stage the games in Adelaide while the economic benefit was expected to be only AUS$1.2 billion (US$820 million).
The study also found a lack of key sporting infrastructure, a failure that South Australia plans to correct.
"Although we won't be bidding for 2026, we have embarked on the State Sporting Infrastructure Plan which will provide the path forward to ensuring we have the best facilities to attract big events to the state in the future," Sports Minister Corey Wingard said on Thursday, as quoted by the AAP
"Unfortunately, the cost to the taxpayer was too high to bring the Games to South Australia by 2026, but we remain open to potential bids in 2030 and 2034 as key initiatives from the State Sporting Infrastructure Plan are rolled out."
Commonwealth Games Australia was not happy with the decision, with Chief Executive Officer Craig Phillips saying in a statement that Adelaide had a very strong case and every indication was that a bid from Adelaide would have a high chance of success.
“Adelaide presented a very compelling option as a Games host. It’s the perfect location and much of the facilities and infrastructure required to host the Games are already in place,” Phillips said.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) originally planned to announce the host city for 2026 at its general assembly in Rwanda earlier this month but decided in June to delay the decision until 2020.
With the presumptive winner Adelaide out of the running, the CGF appears to have much work to do to find a host by next year.
There are no other bidders, at least any that have made their intentions clear.
Malaysian media reported late last month that the Malaysian state of Selangor had offered to be the main host should the country make a bid for the 2026 Games. But there has been no indication that a bid is forthcoming.
The Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur hosted the 1998 edition.
Papua New Guinea and its capital Port Moresby were floated as a possible 2026 host after the country hosted the Pacific Games in 2015 but there has been little talk about it since then.
Australia hosted the most recent Commonwealth Games last year in Gold Coast. The country has also previously hosted the event in Sydney (1938), Perth (1962), Brisbane (1982) and Melbourne (2006).
Birmingham, England is hosting the 2022 edition.
Written by Gerard Farek
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