SL to bid for Commonwealth Games 10 years after failed attempt

After wasting millions of rupees of public money in a failed bid to win the status of host country for the Commonwealth Games in 2011, the government is eyeing it for the second time in 10 years.

Sri Lanka is among the countries which have reportedly expressed interest to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, the BBC reported.

Accordingly, Australia, Canada, India, and Sri Lanka have expressed interest in staging the 2026 Games but, as yet, a host has not been secured.

Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Dame Louise Martin quoted by the BBC as saying that she is  quietly confident that they will be announcing [the 2026 host] in the first quarter of next year, prior to Birmingham.

CGF is working with cities and countries,” Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President said.

National Olympic Committee Sri Lanka (NOCSL) is planning to bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, as Hamilton (Canada) the city which has withdrawn  their bid , leaving no confirmed host for the game which is six years away.

Sri Lanka has made great efforts to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG), but their bid was beaten by Gold Coast(Australia),shattering the island nation’s hopes and also plans for infrastructure development in Hambanthota at that time.  

Birmingham (England) had already clinched the 2022 Games and Hamilton the 2026 Games, with India looking at 2030. Sri Lanka did not have a window for a bid throughout the next decade. 

But with Hamilton facing problems over the bid, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) was on the lookout for a new host.

Ontario Province’s Minister of Heritage and Sport Lisa MacLeod has publicly announced that the Government will support Hamilton’s bid but not in 2026,giving any other interested City the best chance to grab the hosting rights.

A rough estimation based on previous Games indicates about US$ 650 million operation cost for running the Games, and a further US$  300 million minimum infrastructure cost for the Games, which NOCSL will present to the Government to get its endorsement . . 

Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa has already expressed his views about the need for a modern day international sports university to uplift sports in the country, as well as building a billion dollar sports economy, which are tallying with hosting international games such as CWG.

It gives a Government means to build modern infrastructure and uplift sporting talent of the country with a proper plan. 

It has been estimated that Sri Lanka has spent between Rs 300 million – Rs 400 million on Sri Lanka’s bid process at that time during the process of securing the bid .

However, according to the report of the  Auditor General , a sum of Rs  689.9 million in financial losses had been made in the money collected from local donors for obtaining the hospitality of the Commonwealth Games in 2018 as the money was not utilised efficiently and effectively.

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