Could Warrnambool host Commonwealth Games competitions in 2026?
A taskforce has been established to look into greater Victoria staging the games as organisers look to find a new host after Birmingham stepped in to fill a void left after Durban's exit from this year's event.
Warrnambool mayor Richard Ziegeler says the city council will consider the possibility of hosting some Commonwealth Games events if appropriate financial support was available.
Warrnambool was named in an original proposal by the Greater Victoria taskforce several years ago as a potential venue for a road cycling event.
Cr Ziegeler said the council had not discussed the possibility but the prospect had "potential" and would be considered if external funding and community support was available.
"Within council and the wider community we certainly have a great deal of expertise in organising and hosting large sporting events," he said.
"The Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic is one example of our community demonstrating expertise in staging a successful major road cycling race.
"In Reid Oval we now have a superb playing field and pavilion that could host T20 cricket, which is in the schedule of sports to be played at this year's Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
"We've also got great lawn bowls venues, a shooting range and natural attributes that suit triathlons and beach volleyball. So there is potential for Warrnambool to have a role but there would be a lot of work required before any commitment was made.
"It's one thing to be ambitious and audacious in thinking Warrnambool could be a player in the Commonwealth Games - but there would need to be a lot of research and consultation to ensure that any commitments made were in the long-term interests of Warrnambool."
He said no funding was yet available. "The Shepparton-led taskforce associated with the Greater Victoria bid had sought funding to complete a feasibility study to look at the economic benefits that might flow to the regional city participants," he said. "At this stage there has been no funding made available."
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