Conservative Mayor of London candidate Susan Hall has thrown her support behind the capital hosting the next edition of the Commonwealth Games after the Gold Coast in Australia dropped the only bid for the 2026 event.
The state of Victoria, also Down Under, withdrew as hosts in July and there has not since been a replacement.
But Hall, Conservative mayoral candidate and member of the Greater London Authority at City Hall, has insisted that London would stand ready should she become mayor of the capital after next year’s election.
London can thrive
“London should be an exciting, thriving city and we must do more to bring the world’s best sporting events here,” Hall told City A.M. when asked if the 2026 and 2030 Games would be on her agenda.
“I fully support London bidding to host the Commonwealth Games and as Mayor, I would do everything I can to support it.”
The withdrawal of Gold Coast as host means the games may be delayed until 2027.
Commonwealth Games Australia chief Craig Phillips said: “The CGF [Commonwealth Games Federation] have indicated that they are open to the Games moving to give any potential host more time.
“It’s something we’re looking at in terms of any state that we do talk to.”
Birmingham successfully staged the last Commonwealth Games, in 2022, after South African city Durban pulled out of hosting the event.
Run their cause
Some have suggested that the Games have run their course and Alberta, Canada, seemed to back this up by withdrawing from the 2030 bidding process earlier this year.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan previously said that London “stands ready” to host the event with the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief Richard Burge stating: “London would be the ideal city to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
“From Lord’s to Wimbledon, we have pulled off some of the most iconic sports events in history and we are proficient in dealing with huge crowds while delivering value for money and, most importantly, safety for the athletes and spectators.
“With the mayor committed to London being net zero by 2030, these could be the greenest games in Commonwealth history… for 2026 there is only one choice – London.”
There have been radical ideas to save the games in recent years, with some suggesting the Caribbean should host the event across multiple islands.
The Commonwealth Games are held every four years with participants mostly coming from former British Empire nations and colonies.