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5 minutes ago, Gonzo said:

Good on Lord Coe for speaking up on the folly that will be Victoria 2026

He's spot on, people from Melbourne won't travel due to distance/lack of accommodation and the population base of Ballarat is not big enough to fill the stadium day after day (especially for morning heat sessions)

Move it to Lakeside Stadium

I think that you are misquoting him. He didn't say that it was a folly. He said "the organiser in me says that will be a challenge, it won’t be insurmountable, but it’s a challenge". If Victoria can practically demonstrate that it's Games can work then it opens the Pandora's Box for other smaller countries and multiple cities within countries to host. I personally would like to see the Games not come back to Australia for another 40 years and for other countries (other than UK cities, Canada and New Zealand) to step up and host them. For this reason alone, it's not an option, we have to make it work. Throwing your hands in the air, declaring it a disaster before you see the planning and details emerge is what a loser would do, and I am sure that you are not a loser.

Having served in the Australian Army for almost 40 years and having regularly worked alongside British Army Officers, over the years the one thing that I heard them consistently say that they strongly admired in Australians is our "Can do" attitude. They like that we don't back down from the difficult tasks and come up with strong practical solutions.

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It will be a folly/disaster because of it's setup. All nice and fine in theory putting it in "regional" cities, but when we are talking regional cities with not more than 100,000. The population bases on these cities are just not big enough to fill stadiums day in day out. How many local residents of Morwell (population 15,000) and going to buy tickets to a Basketball Preliminary of Ghana vs. Falkland Islands

The distances are too far for Melbourne people to travel, by road or by the woeful regional train network

We've just had a great games in Birmingham with capacity crowds, Victoria 2026 will be a huge step back for the CGs. It's not too late to centralise the main sports in Melbourne as it should've been since Day 1

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53 minutes ago, RooBlu said:

The Mayor of Ballarat, the City's CEO and Mr Michael Poulton CEO of the Committee for Ballarat (It's Chamber of Commerce) have each acknowledged the issues that Baron Sebastian Coe has discussed. The Mayor of Ballarat recently discussed the planning issues that Ballarat will need to address, particularly highlighting the logistics of moving 30,000 people out of Mars Stadium at the end of a Session and that they will have to potentially do this twice a day over several days. This will definitely challenge planners.

While athletes and officials will be housed in the team village, Ballarat presently has 4,500 accommodation beds (about half of what Melbourne had during the 1956 Olympics). Ballarat has a highly developed hospitality sector as it is already a highly popular tourism destination. It's challenges will be getting enough train capacity and keeping trains moving on the rail line. After Melton the track is mainly single track with several passing sidings and potentially a train breakdown or accident could de-rail things considerably. Exactly the same applies to the Bendigo line. The State Government have invested heavily in upgrading those two lines considerably since 2002 and further works are underway. Mars Stadium will definitely need an event train platform which is pretty much non-negotiable. Further, the adjacent Midland Highway (Creswick Road) currently only has two traffic lanes North bound 2.48 km between Howitt Street out to the Western Freeway interchange. Again this is a no-brainer, it must be upgraded as a matter of priority while they are designing the upgrade of the stadium precinct.

What are your thoughts on this. It is a bit of a wild idea but could Crewsick Road go underground or a new grandstand gets built over it like Brunton Avenue with the MCG grandstand and concourse creating a bridge over the top? What are the chances that houses on White Avenue could get acquired from the government to provide the area with more space to expand for the Games? 

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36 minutes ago, Victorian said:

What are your thoughts on this. It is a bit of a wild idea but could Creswick Road go underground or a new grandstand gets built over it like Brunton Avenue with the MCG grandstand and concourse creating a bridge over the top? What are the chances that houses on White Avenue could get acquired from the government to provide the area with more space to expand for the Games? 

White Avenue - Very touchy. To begin with, the design of the present stand was a compromise to prevent shadowing over White Avenue in the mornings.

My bet is that at least 11,000 permanent new seats in a new two tier stand will get built along the Eastern and South-Eastern portion of the ground, meaning that the temporary stand would need to seat around 15,000. The new permanent stand would still only extend back about 24 rows on the lower tier and the second tier would need to consist of at least 12-15 rows. This could be achieved without going outside the existing Stadium boundary encroaching onto Creswick Road. Note that the existing main stand consists of 24 rows and seats about 3,500. Alternatively they may look at somehow extending the northern stand back and into the existing Sports Club and re-model the Sports Club. That idea will have to be strongly considered if they want to ultimately reduce the size of the temporary stand and this isn't as crazy as it might sound. The existing sports club is only valued at $5 million and can easily be replaced being incorporated into a new build for the sake of an extra $5 million. Once the temporary stand is gone after the Games, it will most likely be replaced by a berm at the South Western end of the ground similar to the existing hill.

I would think that a pedestrian subway would be easier to build under Creswick Road while the road is being re-built. It would remove any need for pedestrian lights and have minimal visual impact. It comes down to where V/Line recommends that the new Station is built. I think that their preference is for the Wendouree Line 540 metres South of the Stadium because it already has established hourly services which would be far handier during football season. But that creates issues then with people crossing Howitt Street which is a busy road in itself (but does have pedestrian lights). The Council favour a station near Norman Street because it will be near a large car park which would support future commuting by Northern suburb residents.

There is a lot of space outside the existing stadium fence line around Creswick Road that presently accommodates spill over parking. But much of that space will disappear once the road is widened to four lanes with traffic islands and turning points in the middle. Further they need to accommodate reasonably wide footpaths and new Bus drop off bays next to the stadium. So I expect that the architects will design the new stand(s) to fit inside the present fence boundaries.

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1 hour ago, RooBlu said:

White Avenue - Very touchy. To begin with, the design of the present stand was a compromise to prevent shadowing over White Avenue in the mornings.

My bet is that at least 11,000 permanent new seats in a new two tier stand will get built along the Eastern and South-Eastern portion of the ground, meaning that the temporary stand would need to seat around 15,000. The new permanent stand would still only extend back about 24 rows on the lower tier and the second tier would need to consist of at least 12-15 rows. This could be achieved without going outside the existing Stadium boundary encroaching onto Creswick Road. Note that the existing main stand consists of 24 rows and seats about 3,500. Alternatively they may look at somehow extending the northern stand back and into the existing Sports Club and re-model the Sports Club. That idea will have to be strongly considered if they want to ultimately reduce the size of the temporary stand and this isn't as crazy as it might sound. The existing sports club is only valued at $5 million and can easily be replaced being incorporated into a new build for the sake of an extra $5 million. Once the temporary stand is gone after the Games, it will most likely be replaced by a berm at the South Western end of the ground similar to the existing hill.

I would think that a pedestrian subway would be easier to build under Creswick Road while the road is being re-built. It would remove any need for pedestrian lights and have minimal visual impact. It comes down to where V/Line recommends that the new Station is built. I think that their preference is for the Wendouree Line 540 metres South of the Stadium because it already has established hourly services which would be far handier during football season. But that creates issues then with people crossing Howitt Street which is a busy road in itself (but does have pedestrian lights). The Council favour a station near Norman Street because it will be near a large car park which would support future commuting by Northern suburb residents.

There is a lot of space outside the existing stadium fence line around Creswick Road that presently accommodates spill over parking. But much of that space will disappear once the road is widened to four lanes with traffic islands and turning points in the middle. Further they need to accommodate reasonably wide footpaths and new Bus drop off bays next to the stadium. So I expect that the architects will design the new stand(s) to fit inside the present fence boundaries.

I had similar ideas to you about the replacement of the Sports Club! It can be rebuilt under a bigger grandstand. I would also suggest they temporary remove the roof of the smaller stand to allow temporary seating to be installed. In blue is a bus interchange area and I would also make the railway an overhead line that would then also allow parking underneath which would be handy for events post game. The green parking south could also be another bus bay and during the games with the current carpark being refigured but during the Games becoming games family drop off area and games backroom OP tents etc. Thoughts? Below is my map.

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7 hours ago, Brekkie Boy said:

Really is disgraceful they are so close - just shows a complete lack of respect, and practically too you'd expect quite a few countries ot have the same broadcasters covering both.   Nowadays "host broadcasters" of such big international events don't rely on local expertise but a network of global experts who go from one event to another.   Such a short turnaround between the two events does neither event any favour - surely the calendar isn't so crowded that Victoria couldn't wait at least another week.

It actually is. 

Australian Open, F1 Grand Prix, Moomba - then Easter (and cooler weather not long after). March is pretty well the only time to stage it in these locations without jumping forward to November (which is the State Election with caretaker provisions, so also not an option). 

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4 hours ago, Gonzo said:

Good on Lord Coe for speaking up on the folly that will be Victoria 2026

He's spot on, people from Melbourne won't travel due to distance/lack of accommodation and the population base of Ballarat is not big enough to fill the stadium day after day (especially for morning heat sessions)

Move it to Lakeside Stadium

You are going to be proven very, very wrong. 

Let's chat again in four years ;)

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3 hours ago, Gonzo said:

It will be a folly/disaster because of it's setup. All nice and fine in theory putting it in "regional" cities, but when we are talking regional cities with not more than 100,000. The population bases on these cities are just not big enough to fill stadiums day in day out. How many local residents of Morwell (population 15,000) and going to buy tickets to a Basketball Preliminary of Ghana vs. Falkland Islands

The distances are too far for Melbourne people to travel, by road or by the woeful regional train network

We've just had a great games in Birmingham with capacity crowds, Victoria 2026 will be a huge step back for the CGs. It's not too late to centralise the main sports in Melbourne as it should've been since Day 1

1. Three regional cities of 100,000+ people (including Greater Geelong which will be over 300,000 come 2026 - Australia's fastest growing regional city). 

2. Australia's most modern regional rail network - no other Australian state has invested as much as Victoria has on its regional rail network in the last 20 years. V/Locity services can now run every 20 minutes on the Geelong and Ballarat line connecting them to Melbourne in just on one hour. Bendigo is about 90 minutes and 30 minute frequency. Gippsland is further but this is reflected in less events being staged there. Regional Rail Revival

3. This is not Melbourne's Games - this is regional Victoria's. I'd support shifting the Ceremonies to Kardinia Park too while we are at it.

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20 minutes ago, Victorian said:

I had similar ideas to you about the replacement of the Sports Club! It can be rebuilt under a bigger grandstand. I would also suggest they temporary remove the roof of the smaller stand to allow temporary seating to be installed. In blue is a bus interchange area and I would also make the railway an overhead line that would then also allow parking underneath which would be handy for events post game. The green parking south could also be another bus bay and during the games with the current carpark being refigured but during the Games becoming games family drop off area and games backroom OP tents etc. Thoughts? Below is my map.

spacer.png

I think that simplicity will be key. We will no doubt see a master plan soon enough but given the three years and seven months deadline building time will be tight considering the infrastructure that must be built along with the stadium upgrade. It all has to be designed (if designing hasn't already commenced behind the scenes), approved, tenders issued and construction. They need to allow at least two years for construction of the roadway, railway and the new stand. In addition, at least 6 months out they will be laying the athletics tracks and building public plazas etc. So there likely won't be anything too fancy.

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4 hours ago, Gonzo said:

It will be a folly/disaster because of it's setup. All nice and fine in theory putting it in "regional" cities, but when we are talking regional cities with not more than 100,000. The population bases on these cities are just not big enough to fill stadiums day in day out. How many local residents of Morwell (population 15,000) and going to buy tickets to a Basketball Preliminary of Ghana vs. Falkland Islands

The distances are too far for Melbourne people to travel, by road or by the woeful regional train network

We've just had a great games in Birmingham with capacity crowds, Victoria 2026 will be a huge step back for the CGs. It's not too late to centralise the main sports in Melbourne as it should've been since Day 1

Nobody is suggesting that the populations of these cities will solely fill the stadium's. But if tens of thousands of regional Victorians were able to commute into Melbourne daily during the 2006 Games, it's not out of the realms of possibility for tens of thousands of Melburnians will be commuting to watch competition in the regional centres. At most Bendigo is a 90 minute drive while Ballarat is 70 minutes and Geelong 50 minutes from Melbourne. As long as they get the ticket sales up and running early and prices are reasonable. Another concession may be that your ticket includes the PT ride to the venue as it did in Melbourne 2006. The stadium's aren't going to be super large. The three biggest venues will be the aquatic centre (10-12,000), GMHBA Stadium (Cricket) and Mars Stadium (30,000). Also this is why Ballarat is only hosting three sports at this stage because any additional sports would put a complete strain on its logistics, where as Bendigo is hosting six smaller sports with similar overall spectator capacity across its six venues. Geelong will carry a bigger spectator load in its venues (T20 Cricket, aquatics, gymnastics, hockey and beach volleyball) designed to hold between 3,000 - 40,000. I'd say that people have already seriously put on their thinking caps when they allocated sports and venues because they looked at what the spectator loads would be on each city and the implications for catering, transportation, security, road movement and accommodation.

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Commonwealth Games 2026: Why Birmingham's stunning success puts Victoria under even more pressure

Birmingham blitzed the Commonwealth Games in a big way and Victoria needs to follow suit. Joe Barton looks at 10 areas where the state needs to deliver to get it right in 2026.

Dismissed by the woke mob as a colonial relic that has no relevance in the 21st century, Birmingham has saved the “Friendly Games” from the scrap heap.

 

Not only did Brum step in and agree to take over as hosts after the South African city of Durban pulled out because they had run out of money, they also reminded everyone in the Commonwealth why the Games are worth preserving.

In an age where most major international sporting events have been swamped by crass commercialisation, the Commonwealth Games are a throwback to happier times.

They are not the Olympics — but they have never pretended to be — because they showcase eclectic sports that are ingrained in our culture and part of the unbreakable bond to the Commonwealth.

Sports such as cricket, and netball, and lawn bowls, and hockey, and squash.

Supporters of the Games, and there’s a lot more of them now than there were a fortnight ago, will argue they are more relevant and needed than ever before.

And they’re right. But only if they are done the right way.

Whether it’s seeing the unbridled joy that competitors from tiny island nations get when they set foot on the medal podium or the quirky sports that no other major sporting event would dare allow, there’s just something magical about the Commonwealth Games that Victoria needs to keep in mind when it hosts them in 2026.

Aussies love multi-sports events — and the global pandemic has only reinforced why after the blinding success and mass public support for last year’s Tokyo Olympics and now the Commonwealth Games.

Not only that, Birmingham has just provided regional Victoria with a DIY guidebook for success that could be summarised in three words: keep it fun.

When Aaron “Disco” Wilson retained his single’s title at the posh-sounding Royal Leamington Spa Bowling Club, of course he ripped off his shirt for the crowd, lamenting only that he didn’t have a “better rig”.

At what is perhaps the most quintessential Commonwealth sport of all, one of the gold medallists on those same lawn bowling greens was a 75-year-old blind Scotsman, competing in the visually impaired category.

Australia’s medallists in table tennis included Lin Ma, a naturalised one-handed Chinese paddler whose other arm was eaten by a bear at a zoo.

When Australian middle-distance runner Ollie Hoare won the 1500m, his lap of honour took 45 minutes as he stopped and posed for selfies with everyone in the crowd that wanted a snap.

Outside the stadium, a local man and his son kept the crowds entertained while they were queuing for their buses home by playing music from a DJ booth they had made out of a reconditioned caravan.

If they tried that in Australia, the fun police would slap them with a ticket, but that’s not how they roll in Birmingham.

That doesn’t mean the competition wasn’t world-class, because some of the best athletes on the planet were there. But winning just isn’t everything at the Friendly Games.

For every Emma McKeon there’s plenty of Disco Wilsons — and that’s the cue for petty state politicians to remember it’s the athletes, not officials, people want to see.

If there’s one thing Birmingham did better than every other recent host of the Commonwealth Games, it’s ditching a lot of pomp and ceremony and replacing it with self-mocking humour and old fashioned rock ’n’ roll.

The 11 days of competition were an unashamed festival of boozing in the sun and clowning around. Instead of boasting about how good they are, the barmy folk from England’s West Midlands just poked fun at themselves and had a laugh — and everyone else lapped it up.

The party atmosphere that took over Britain’s second-largest city was so infectious that the tens of thousands of foreign visitors are still wondering if the water in the city’s canals is laced with Viagra.

The crowds turned out in droves at every event because the organisers kept the tickets affordable and didn’t waste billions of taxpayer pounds on building new stadiums no one will use when the circus leaves town.

Victoria got the 2026 Commonwealth Games at a cut-price rate with a green light to run them however they like because no one else wanted them.

But that’s not an excuse to stuff them up after Birmingham showed everyone that the secret to holding a successful Games is simpler than everyone thinks.

10 THINGS VICTORIA CAN LEARN FROM BIRMINGHAM

—Joe Barton

1. The Tokyo Olympics featured some incredible moments … but they felt less special because they were done in front of empty stands. But across Birmingham — and surrounding cities — the crowds have been truly part of the show. Whether they were the boozed up types at the 3x3 basketball, the serene fans sitting alongside royalty at the lawn bowls or the packed houses at the athletics and swimming, they made their voices heard. Eilish McColgan’s stunning finish at the 10,000m? It’s not possible without 30,000 screaming the Scot to victory. Hopefully in four years we’ve long forgotten about Covid, but packing the stands will make or break the Games down under.

2. Even within the UK, Birmingham gets a bad wrap — it’s almost become a bit of a punchline. But these Games showcased not just Birmingham, but the surrounding regions, with Coventry, Leamington Spa, Wolverhampton and Warwick all getting their time in the sun (and occasional drizzling rain, but it was delightful nonetheless). People came from all over the midlands to embrace the Friendly Games — something regional Victoria will get to enjoy in four years time.

3. Size isn’t everything. The future of the Commonwealth Games is in cities that may never get a look-in for an Olympics, and Birmingham has certainly proved that they can put on a world class event. Though it is the second biggest city, by population, in the UK, its reputation pales in comparison to big brother London and even popular cousin Manchester. It showed them both up over the past fortnight.

4. Plenty of magic despite no-shows. OK, sprint stars Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson turned their back on the Games. Would they have added some star power to the event? No question. But did anybody miss them? Well, they certainly weren’t the names on everybody’s lips at Alexander Park as Games records tumbled and new stars were born. Every athlete who came to Birmingham wanted to win — and no medal was any less worthy because of a couple of no-shows.

5. Testing the waters on new sports. Here’s a tip to the Victorian organisers — don’t be afraid to take a risk on new sports that energise the next generation of Aussie athletes. In Birmingham the hottest ticket in town wasn’t for the swimming or the 100m finals … it was a pass to the ‘party venue’ at Smithfields where the 3x3 basketball and beach volleyball reigned supreme. The atmosphere at the basketball when England’s men defeated Australia to claim gold was electric. Throw in the BMX and skateboarding at Tokyo last year, and it’s bringing in a whole new audience. We’re still not sure about the breakdancing at Paris 2024, though.

6. Local spirit. You couldn’t walk 10 steps without being drawn into conversation with a cheery local who was deeply proud of being able to show off the best of Birmingham. The friendly fans and legions of helpful volunteers made everyone feel at home. And why not? “Why wouldn’t you be excited to have world class athletes competing on your doorstep?” one passionate fan explained, while clutching a fistful of tickets for events that ranged from athletics to squash, weightlifting and lawn bowls. That’s the spirit. Don’t be too cool to celebrate your town getting worldwide attention.

7. Track cycling is an absolute must. Vic2026 must find a way to include track cycling in its schedule. With endless thrills and spills, mixed in with a bucketload of Aussie gold, the track was can’t-miss TV through the first week. Even being hosted at the Lee Valley Velodrome in London didn’t dull the interest — suggesting that in 2026 it could be hosted in Sydney, Brisbane or Adelaide if Victoria can’t commit to a world-class venue to stage it.

8. Embrace the party vibe. Anyone who has been to Birmingham knows it’s a city that likes to have a good time. So, they were always going to throw a party when the Comm Games rolled into town. The world capital for bottomless brunches turned this event into a rollicking two-week celebration that went from dawn to dusk … And sometimes back to dawn again. Live sites, street food, bars spilling out onto the football and overwhelming positive vibes — shout out to Dhillons Brewery in Coventry and Leamington Spa’s famous Cricketers Arms for all the good times. Ditch the nanny state rules and learn how to have fun, Victoria. You’ll love it.

9. Weird is wonderful. We never expected to say this but … lawn bowls absolutely rocks. We’re not talking about a Sunday barefoot bowl, either. The skills on display on the picturesque greens of Victoria Park provided some of the greatest, and most dramatic, moments of the 2022 Games. It was the true hidden gem of the entire fortnight, to all except the hordes who descended upon Leamington Spa daily. Anyone who watched Ellen Ryan send down two fearless drives to seal gold in the women’s pairs will be a bowls fan for life.

10. You’ve got to nail the opening ceremony — and maybe borrow Perry the Bull. Birmingham absolutely blitzed the opening ceremony, with nods to its culture and history, and at the centre of it all was a 10m tall mechanical bull that immediately went on display in the town centre and has proven so popular with locals and tourists alike that it’s been saved from the scrap heap. The bull is synonymous with Birmingham and the Games mascot, Penny the Bull, was a hit with kids. Victoria, get your thinking caps on immediately to find your own Perry

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Don't think Australia has anything much to learn about hosting Comm Games or Olympics- we do an exceptional job every time.  Most of those lessons seem to come straight from the Sydney 2000 playbook anyway.

The one thing that was grim was the 'scenery' for the marathons and road races- what a shockingly ugly city Birmingham is. Look like some it was in the Blitz last week.

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9 hours ago, Australian Kiwi said:

It actually is. 

Australian Open, F1 Grand Prix, Moomba - then Easter (and cooler weather not long after). March is pretty well the only time to stage it in these locations without jumping forward to November (which is the State Election with caretaker provisions, so also not an option). 

I know they still pretend Easter is a non-ratings period (but they often designate Games periods as "non-ratings" anyway) but really no reason it couldn't be held over Easter.   Aus Open and F1 are done and dusted by then and a community festival in Melbourne shouldn't affect events elsewhere in Victoria.    We managed a clash with the tail end of an international football tournament, the start of the Football League and Premier League season and the launch of a domestic cricket championships - these things are only issues if you make them are issues.

 

Still ridiculous too they haven't got Track Cycling, surely one of the flagship events, locked in.   Is it petty local politics preventing them staging it in Melbourne?   If Birmingham can agree to hold them in London there really is no excuse.

 

58 minutes ago, TorchbearerSydney said:

Don't think Australia has anything much to learn about hosting Comm Games or Olympics- we do an exceptional job every time.  Most of those lessons seem to come straight from the Sydney 2000 playbook anyway.

The one thing that was grim was the 'scenery' for the marathons and road races- what a shockingly ugly city Birmingham is. Look like some it was in the Blitz last week.

Agree on both counts there.   The marathon was particularly poor and not very well attended along the route either which didn't help.   The bike races were out in Walsall and Wolverhampton - not much better than inner city Birmingham really.   Might have been better off going the other direction to Warwick.   The Cannock Chase location for the Mountain Biking though was stunning.

 

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6 hours ago, Brekkie Boy said:

I know they still pretend Easter is a non-ratings period (but they often designate Games periods as "non-ratings" anyway) but really no reason it couldn't be held over Easter.   Aus Open and F1 are done and dusted by then and a community festival in Melbourne shouldn't affect events elsewhere in Victoria.    We managed a clash with the tail end of an international football tournament, the start of the Football League and Premier League season and the launch of a domestic cricket championships - these things are only issues if you make them are issues.

 

Still ridiculous too they haven't got Track Cycling, surely one of the flagship events, locked in.   Is it petty local politics preventing them staging it in Melbourne?   If Birmingham can agree to hold them in London there really is no excuse.

 

Agree on both counts there.   The marathon was particularly poor and not very well attended along the route either which didn't help.   The bike races were out in Walsall and Wolverhampton - not much better than inner city Birmingham really.   Might have been better off going the other direction to Warwick.   The Cannock Chase location for the Mountain Biking though was stunning.

 

No it can’t be held over Easter. Easter involves a lot of community festivals, community sport tournaments across the entire state which also includes the use of some of the facilities that would be being used for the Games.

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1 hour ago, Victorian said:

No it can’t be held over Easter. Easter involves a lot of community festivals, community sport tournaments across the entire state which also includes the use of some of the facilities that would be being used for the Games.

You can't please everybody. Perhaps to Brekkie Boy Easter isn't important. Not everybody appreciates or celebrates it as a religious event. It wouldn't matter when they held the Games because there will always be one group or individuals who wouldn't agree with the timing. The organisers have chosen the dates because they clash or overlap with nothing. Any other dates would clash and overlap other significant events and major sports competitions which would piss off a hell of a lot more people overall. Few people from the Northern Hemisphere seem to have issue with the dates, perhaps appreciating an opportunity to have a reason to escape the tail end of their Winter? Certainly the nations of the Pacific and Southern Africa don't seem to have any problem with it.

I think that organisers have much bigger issues to focus upon now than any concerns about the timing. It is interesting that there were a few big name athletes who chose not to go to the Birmingham Games for their own reasons, but their absence didn't detract from the Games and to be honest, did anybody miss them?

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12 hours ago, TorchbearerSydney said:

Don't think Australia has anything much to learn about hosting Comm Games or Olympics- we do an exceptional job every time.  Most of those lessons seem to come straight from the Sydney 2000 playbook anyway.

The one thing that was grim was the 'scenery' for the marathons and road races- what a shockingly ugly city Birmingham is. Look like some it was in the Blitz last week.

I agree, we'll put our own flair to it and the individual locations will have their own unique atmospheres and activities in and around the cities reflecting their communities.

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Bold vision leads to hunger games
 

The News, April 13, 2017, lauded the Shepparton-inspired bid for a regional “people’s” Commonwealth Games as bold and visionary.

Our editorial following the announcement was not dismissive of the concept, despite the scant detail provided.

We said at the time that “all grand projects require two cornerstones — a bold dream anchored in reality”.
 

 

The reality, even then, was clear.

The Commonwealth Games was facing an uncertain future with few countries, let alone cities, prepared to take on the difficult and expensive task of hosting the event.

The South African city of Durban was elected to host the 2022 Games but pulled out due to financial constraints, leaving Birmingham to step in.

Victoria was aiming for 2030 but was able to snare the 2026 slot because it was a serious bid, and there were no other bidders.

Our capacity as a state, and a nation to host major international sporting events would have also helped.

That Greater Shepparton has not to date been rewarded for its leadership and vision is the only negative about the start of the countdown to 2026.

Four hubs, Gippsland, Geelong, Ballarat, and Bendigo, have been announced as the central pillars of the regional games — the rest of regional Victoria has been thrust into the Commonwealth equivalent of The Hunger Games.

Originally pitched by City of Greater Shepparton as an event spread across 11 regional cities, the field currently sits at five, including Melbourne.

Those five will logically consume most of the infrastructure and therefore the benefit of a Games legacy.

The rest are hoping (and lobbying) for something: sporting events, cultural events, anything.

The longer the public campaigns and arm twisting are allowed to continue by those towns and regions who are currently missing out, the more animosity it will create.

The real legacy of the Games should be the shared sense of achievement and confidence generated by successfully hosting a major international event.

Every region, every major regional city, should have that opportunity, but especially Shepparton, which had the foresight and gumption to pursue the dream in the first place.

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3 hours ago, yoshi said:

I hope you have good trains

LOL. Regional rail is a joke in Victoria even after spending billions of dollars to create services even slower than previous services. Oh and who was the head of the failed & corrupt (V/Line) Regional Rail Victoria? The same clown that is now the CEO of Victoria 2026. Herr Commander

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58 minutes ago, Gonzo said:

LOL. Regional rail is a joke in Victoria even after spending billions of dollars to create services even slower than previous services. Oh and who was the head of the failed & corrupt (V/Line) Regional Rail Victoria? The same clown that is now the CEO of Victoria 2026. Herr Commander

Are you just here to troll?

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