Sports-mad Australians could be in for the biggest treat of their lives.
A senior sports administrator says back-to-back Commonwealth and Olympic Games on home soil is one way to kick start the Australian economy post-COVID 19.
Commonwealth Games Australia general manager of marketing, communications and community David Culbert says a major events boom and the associated infrastructure development could be the tonic the country needs.
“The main cost of hosting the games is building infrastructure,” Culbert says.
“To host a Commonwealth Games and then an Olympics would provide some challenges from a Federal Government support perspective but there’s a lot of discussion at the moment about how we’ll get out of this post-COVID and those are the big infrastructure activities that you need to get the economy going.”
Culbert, who represented Australia at both the Commonwealth and Olympic Games, says pressure is now on the events to find hosts, with costs proving to be prohibitive in recent years.
“All of those major sporting events now need to look at a way of attracting host cities,” says Culbert.
“The Olympic Games is a huge operation, but the Olympic Committee and the Commonwealth Games have both recognised that they don’t need to be done as grandly as they have done in the past.”
South East Queensland’s bid for the 2032 Olympics and Regional Victoria’s bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games have been put on hold due to the pandemic.
Culbert says Australia’s track record of major events is second to none, and that hosting leaves a positive impact on the community.
“It’s really good for our sports and our athletes to have a home games,” says Culbert.
“They leave a great legacy from an infrastructure and facilities perspective and they create great memories.
“We’re the best in the business when it comes to hosting major sporting events.”
Australia hosted the Olympics in 1956 and 2000, and the Commonwealth Games in 1938, 1962, 1982, 2006, and 2018.
Australia launched unsuccessful bids for the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games before Sydney secured the 2000 event.
Featured image courtesy of Jimmy Harris on Flickr