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Melbourne is awarded the 2026 Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games are heading back to Australia for the third time in 20 years

The city of Melbourne, Australia, and the state of Victoria have been selected to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games. This will mark the second time the Games will be held in Melbourne, which also hosted in 2006.

Although Melbourne will host the opening and closing ceremonies at the 100,000 capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground, the events will be spread across the entire state of Victoria: Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Gippsland, which are all within one or two hours from the city.

No other countries apart from Australia bid for the 2026 Games, which meant that back in February, Victoria was granted an exclusive negotiating period to secure its bid to host the events.

Mars Stadium in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

The athletics will take place at the renovated Mars Stadium in Ballarat, which can hold approximately 12,000 spectators. The stadium currently hosts two Australian Rules Football (AFL) games each year.

Australia has hosted the Commonwealth Games on five different occasions, the first being in Sydney in 1938 and the last on Gold Coast in 2018.

Moh Ahmed (left) won a silver medal for Canada in the 5,000m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast

The country also hosted the Olympics in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000 and was awarded a third Olympics bid a few months ago, as Brisbane won the 2032 bid uncontested.

The last time Canada hosted the Commonwealth Games was in Victoria, B.C. in 1994.

Birmingham, U.K., will pass on the torch to Melbourne following the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which take place from July 27 to Aug. 7.