Victoria has been confirmed as the host of the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Premier Daniel Andrew announced on Tuesday morning.

It comes after the state earlier this year entered into an “exclusive negotiation” with the Commonwealth Games Federation to host the games. At that point, no other city in the federation community – of more than 50 nations – had put in a bid.

The model for the 2026 event is unprecedented in its history. Unlike the 2006 Commonwealth Games, which were hosted in Melbourne, this time around events will be held across regional Victoria.

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“It’s a great honour to have Victoria chosen as the host venue for the 2026 Commonwealth Games – we can’t wait to welcome the world to all of our state,” Andrews said in a statement. “The Commonwealth Games in regional Victoria is great for jobs, hospitality and our economy.”

Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas added, “We’ve always known the value of regional Victoria, and the 2026 Commonwealth Games will provide a chance to showcase all we have to offer to the world.”

While the opening ceremony will be held at the MCG, four regional “hubs” will be set up – in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland – each with their own athletes’ village and sports program.

Shepparton will also host sporting and cultural events, and statewide activations and entertainment will ensure visitors across Victoria feel part of the action.