Commonwealth Games 2026: Glasgow could step into host scaled-back, 'cost-effective’ games

CGS said its proposals "won’t involve significant sums of public funding" and would use existing sports facilities, instead of creating purpose-built arenas, ITV News Scotland Reporter Louise Scott reports

Glasgow is the latest city which could be hosting the Common Wealth Games, as Scotland's sporting body says it has developed a “cost-effective” way to host the competition.

Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) commissioned a feasibility study in December after the Australian state of Victoria pulled out of hosting duties due to the cost last summer.

The Victoria government's final estimate, before relinquishing hosting rights, put the cost at 7 billion Australian dollars (£3.65 billion).

CGS said its proposals "won’t involve significant sums of public funding" and would use existing sports facilities, instead of creating purpose-built arenas.

Under the plans athletes would be housed in local hotels rather than an athletes’ village and the programme of events would be cut to between 10 and 13 events - down from 20 at the Birmingham 2022 games.

Estimates suggest Scotland could host the games for between £130 and £150 million, and could bring in more than £100 million to the economy.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has said it will provide £100 million for the chosen host nation, while the remaining budget will be funded by ticket sales and broadcasting rights.

A final decision on the host nation is due to be made by the CGF next month, with reports on Friday suggesting the city could be a back-up option “should a viable alternative fail to materialise”.

Ian Reid CBE, the chair of CGS, 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.

CEO Ian Reid Credit: PA

“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.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “The Commonwealth Games is a hugely important event for Scotland and Scottish athletes and the key priority for the Scottish Government is the continuation of the movement.

“The 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games received international recognition as an outstanding fortnight of sporting and cultural events.

“The CGF has confirmed it is working with a number of Commonwealth Games Associations to reset and reframe the Games. This process is ongoing and we continue to engage with CGS on their proposals.”

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