Commonwealth Games 2026: Andy Street says 'never rule anything out' as host city up for grabs

  • West Midlands mayor Andy Street share's his optimism on the Commonwealth Games potentially returning to Birmingham in 2026

The city was alive with colour, music and lots of sport during the summer of 2022 as the Commonwealth Games was hosted in Birmingham.

The event brought in millions of people to the city, and even more watching at home as it was the centre of global attention.

However, Australia, which was set to host the 2026 games in Victoria, has pulled out of hosting the event because of high costs.

Commonwealth Games bosses have said it is "absolutely embarrassing" that Victoria has withdrawn as 2026 host, after the city said it would cost double their estimated budget.

The Australian state's government initially budgeted 2.6 billion Australian dollars (£1.35 billion) to stage the games in late March 2026 across five regional cities.

Its recent estimates put the cost at 7 billion Australian dollars (£3.65 billion) - but Commonwealth Games bosses say this is "a gross exaggeration".

With no host city for the games there's now talk about the Commonwealth Games returning to the second city, Birmingham, in 2026.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said he hasn't written off the potential prospect of Birmingham hosting the games again.

He said: "Of course it's too early [to say if we can recreate Birmingham 2022] but I'm well aware that lots of people will be saying that.

"We would of course need the support of the British government because they invested in the city as well as Birmingham City Council.

"But I think that's a very premature question to ask at this stage but we know we did it really well and I'm sure we'll do other events in the future equally well."

And Mr Street isn't the only hopeful one. Many people in the city have been left thinking could the legacy of the Commonwealth Games be to host another one?

People told ITV News the Commonwealth Games 2022 helped businesses and brought lots of people to the city

Birmingham's display on the global stage encouraged one lady to visit the city and she believes it wouldn't be far fetched for the city to host again.

She said: "It obviously brought a lot of interest to Birmingham and it’s certainly one of the reasons why we came today having seen a lot about it last year."

Another gentleman agreed saying the local economy would benefit from the influx of visitors.

"It brings a lot of people in to the area and it’s good for the economy," he said.

"The hotels do better, the economy and local businesses do better."

"It brings a lot of people in to the area and it’s good for the economy," one local man said. Credit: ITV News Central

Despite the positive views from visitors, the council said it's time for another country to have the chance to host the sporting event.

A statement from Birmingham City Council said: “The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games were a huge success for the city and wider region – providing a major boost to the city’s economy in terms of new jobs, inward investment and tourism - but it’s now someone else’s turn to stage this amazing event."

Despite it being too early to see if the games will visit Birmingham again in 2026, it's clear the city still feels an immense amount of pride in hosting the Commonwealth Games 2022.

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