After a successful AFL grand finale, Perth Mayor Basil Zempilas signaled the city’s desire to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
Perth Mayor Basil Zempilas raised the city’s hand to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games following a historic AFL grand finale.
The capital of Western Australia hosted the biggest day of the match in what was only the second time the Grand Final has been played outside of Melbourne.
With over 61,000 people in attendance and massive hype around the show, Zempilas said Perth can now step up and position itself as a “city of big events”.
“The 2026 Commonwealth Games are available, there is no host city for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, they are there, they are available,” the city’s mayor told reporters on Sunday.
âIf we raise our hands in a meaningful and decisive way, we can win the Commonwealth Games.
“I know how transformative they can be for a city, so why not capitalize on this great enthusiasm and momentum that we got from the Grand Final and look ahead.”
Mr Zempilas praised the government of Western Australia for its handling of COVID-19, but said it was time for Perth to get ahead of the pandemic.
âI know our government has done a remarkable job of keeping us safe and it has been to our great advantage, but it won’t always be about security,â he said.
âWe’re going to say goodbye to COVID at some point and we have to look to the future, and we have to look to the future boldly and with determination.
âAnd why not make a name for ourselves as a great event city. We’ve shown we can do it, we’ve shown it with the Grand Final, why not look to the 2026 Commonwealth Games. “
Perth has a long sporting history and since the opening of the new Optus Stadium it has hosted major events such as the International Ruby Tests, the State of Origin and now the AFL Grand Final and the Ceremony of the Brownlow medal.
A successful bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games would be the fifth time it has been hosted in Australia and the second time in Perth after the 1962 Games.
A “broad understanding and understanding” between the Commonwealth government, the state government and the city of Perth would be needed for an offer to move forward, Zempilas said.
But the Lord Mayor said the federal government is already backing the move.
“There is broad agreement in this regard from the federal government and I know the city of Perth would be into it,” he said.
âBut of course we can’t do it alone, and the state government would have to commit to participating in the Commonwealth Games.
âWe built a stadium for exactly that. Let’s go for that. “
The Western Australian government had already considered bidding for the 2026 games three years ago after the Optus Stadium was completed, but a study found that would be too costly for the taxpayer.
Instead, the government has signaled its intention to bid for the 2029 World Championships in Athletics.