Mildura will be ready to host sporting events if Victoria secures the 2026 Commonwealth Games

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With speculation growing over Melbourne and the Victoria region hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Mildura Mayor Liam Wood is eagerly awaiting the possibility of the region hosting events as part of the Games.

Two decades after the last Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Victoria is emerging as a favorite to host the 2026 event, with the governments of Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales having already signaled that they would not proceed with the offers. Queensland previously hosted the event in 2018 and will be gearing up for the 2032 Olympics by 2026.

Mildura was part of a regional towns bid put forward by Greater Shepparton City Council in 2017 to see multiple 2030 Commonwealth Games events staged in 11 regional towns if Melbourne were awarded the Games.

Recent changes to the Commonwealth Games lineup have opened the window for a city to host the 2026 event.

Mayor Wood said if the Victorian Government puts forward a bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games it could pave the way for a review of the ‘regional towns’ model and advised that Mildura is ‘in a much stronger position now than we were when those first discussions took place in 2017.

“We now have a national level regional sports facility equipped to host a number of Commonwealth Games events, and with Stage 2 of the Mildura Sports Precinct due for completion over the next 12 months, we be even better prepared to host a wide range of sporting events.

“This, combined with our city’s proven ability to handle tens of thousands of visitors and our busy airport, would make us an attractive proposition under any regional city model, and the enormous economic and tourism benefits that that would bring to our region.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with our regional partner cities to push for Commonwealth Games events to be held in the regions.”

The Mildura Sporting Precinct (formerly known as Mildura South Regional Sporting Precinct) will, for the first time, provide a central home for a number of indoor sports user groups in the district. These groups generate the equivalent of approximately 200,000 site visits each year. The business case for this facility shows that it will provide a venue for major events, including regional and national concerts and sporting events. The compound will also address the need for community open spaces and passive leisure activities in the Mildura South area – one of the region’s main residential growth corridors. The compound will also include a cafe to accommodate users of the sports facilities and local residents.

This initiative is part of the Mildura Future Ready strategy.

Construction of the first stage of the precinct was completed on July 30, 2021, and is located at the corner of Deakin Avenue and Sixteenth Street. Funding to complete Stage 2 of construction was secured in the Victorian Budget 2021-22.

Image: Mildura Sports Precinct

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