The State Government will not progress with a bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games due to the lack of key sporting infrastructure needed and expert advice which revealed the event would not provide an economic benefit for the South Australian economy.
The Marshall Liberal Government has consistently said it would not progress with a bid which did not provide a benefit to taxpayers and will instead push forward with the State Sporting Infrastructure Plan, which will identify key investment areas needed for South Australian facilities.
Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Corey Wingard said the Government would only commit to a high-class Commonwealth Games, which would promote a positive legacy for the state’s tourism and trade future.
“We have always said there was a mountain of work that needed to be done to get SA ready for the type of games we would want to hold by 2026,” Minister Wingard said.
“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.”
“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.”
Minister Wingard said the Plan, due by the end of the year, is focusing on participation, inclusiveness and accessibility, and will have a strong focus on multipurpose facilities.
“We want to develop facilities that fill current gaps, are accessible, and encourage all South Australians to live an active and healthy lifestyle.”
The Marshall Government has invested more than $100 million, including unlocking up to $24 million for community facilities through the Grassroots Football, Netball and Cricket Program and $10 million to lure an ATP/WTA international tennis tournament to South Australia, into sports since March 2018.