SYDNEY, Australia, Mar 15 – Australia’s Gold Coast is prepared to host back-to-back Commonwealth Games, the city’s mayor said Wednesday, after scheduled 2022 host Durban was dumped for failing to meet “key obligations”.
Mayor Tom Tate stopped short of nominating the east coast tourist hotspot as a 2022 replacement but said if called upon to do so the Games could be held there again given it expected a well-executed 2018 event.
“Until you’re asked to come to the party I don’t put up our hand to go pick me, pick me, sort of thing,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“We’re not in the running, but if they want to get us off the bench we’ll be there.
“We can do it in 2018 and we’ll do it very, very well and if you do it once you can do it again.”
Tate added, however, that in the “Commonwealth Games spirit” another city should get the opportunity to benefit as host.
So far only Liverpool, in northwest England, has thrown its hat in the ring for 2022.
Commonwealth Games chiefs said Monday they were seeking a new venue after Durban failed to meet “key obligations”.
A disappointed South African government — which has promoted the country as a destination for major events — said it was unable to reach an agreement with the Commonwealth Games Federation over costs.
The loss has sparked a political row in South Africa over the millions of rand spent on the project.
The Games are contested between nations that are members of the Commonwealth, a group of countries that were once part of the British Empire.