Commonwealth Games Scotland Develops Cost-Effective Concept to Reset Games 

April 12, 2024

Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) can confirm the development of an innovative concept that could provide a solution for the 2026 Commonwealth Games without the need for significant public investment.

The Commonwealth Games is crucial to the health of Scottish sport; the four-yearly event is the pinnacle for several sports and represents the only chance for many athletes to compete for Scotland on a global stage.

The Games were due to be held in Australia in 2026 but Victoria, the host state, pulled out of the agreement last year.

Our priority is to ensure a Games takes place in 2026, and we are encouraged by the news that the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) are in advanced discussions with other nations.

However if an alternative solution cannot be secured within the coming weeks, we are ready to explore our concept with the CGF and key partners in greater detail, with the aim of delivering a world class-sporting event in Scotland using a model that could be replicated across the Commonwealth for future editions.

A feasibility study was commissioned by Commonwealth Games Scotland in December 2023 to assess Scotland’s viability as a cost-effective alternative host, following the Commonwealth Games Federation’s decision to make available £100m to host nations for a 2026 Games as part of the Victoria settlement agreement.

We are satisfied that the concept developed could see a refreshed format for the Games, that would see it be delivered on time and on budget, providing significant benefit to the Scottish economy and a potential blueprint for a sustainable Games model of the future.

The concept includes:

  • Significantly reduced budget costing £130-150 million, with no significant ask of public funds.
  • Core sport programme of 10-13 sports.
  • Use of existing sporting venues and accommodation options, rather than developing purpose-build facilities.

The concept would be funded by £100million from the Commonwealth Games Federation, with the balance through commercial income (ticketing, sponsorship, broadcasting etc).

Ian Reid CBE, Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said:

“We know how important the Commonwealth Games is for athletes, sports and supporters, and we remain concerned about the impact the ongoing uncertainty around 2026 is having on everyone concerned.

“It is vital that a Games takes place in this cycle, and we are hopeful that a positive outcome can be delivered through the CGF’s discussions with other nations.

“We also wanted to ensure that we had left no stone unturned in the search for solutions, should a viable alternative fail to materialise, but recognised the need for a model that did not rely on large public investment.

“Glasgow has a fantastic track record of delivering large sporting events within sensible budgets, with world class facilities and expertise already in place as a legacy of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games a decade ago. 

“We believe our concept provides the CGF with a viable, cost effective and exciting solution which importantly won’t involve significant sums of public funding.

“We look forward to discussing the concept further with the CGF, our member sports, athletes and wider partners.”

The Details

  • The Games concept that has been developed can be delivered within two years and for a budget of £130-150million, with no significant ask of public funds.
  • The Games would be funded by £100million from the Commonwealth Games Federation as part of the Victoria financial settlement towards the cost of the Games. The remaining £30-50million would be funded predominantly by commercial income (ticketing, sponsorship, broadcasting etc).
  • The Games would be expected to deliver a Gross Value Added of £100-200 million, with additional spending from outside the UK of at least £100million.
  • We are planning for an 11-day sporting competition in July/August 2026.
  • The concept has been developed on a core offering of approximately 10 sports. The final number will be confirmed over the coming months and determined by several factors, primarily budget.
  • The CGF mandate the inclusion of two compulsory sports – athletics and swimming – with the remaining sports determined in consultation with the CGF.
  • Glasgow has a range of excellent facilities developed for Glasgow 2014 and other events. Some overlay may be required in venues (e.g. temporary stands, surface work etc) but there is no requirement for new facilities to be built.
  • The concept assumes use of existing accommodation options, mainly hotels, rather than developing a purpose-built Games village.

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