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Geelong’s Kardinia Park to host closing ceremony for 2026 Commonwealth Games

Geelong’s Kardinia Park to host closing ceremony for 2026 Commonwealth Games
October 29, 2022

The Victorian Government has announced that Geelong's Kardinia Park (GMBHA Stadium) will host the closing ceremony for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

With the venue to act as a showcase for regional Victoria, Geelong, which is to host nine sports during the Games, will also be the site of a new athletes’ village while up to $292 million to be spent in purpose-built sporting infrastructure in Waurn Ponds and Armstrong Creek, that will be converted into community infrastructure for these growing communities after the final medals are won.

The aquatics centre in Armstrong Creek will host swimmers, para swimmers and divers while the Commonwealth’s best gymnasts, weightlifters and Para powerlifters will aim for gold in Waurn Ponds.

After the Games, the aquatics centre will become a community pool facility, with multi-purpose courts and green open space preserved.

The artistic gymnastics and weightlifting venue in Waurn Ponds will become seven multi-sport courts, a dance studio, and a regional-level gymnastics centre.

Two Commonwealth Games-first sports will be hosted in the region with golf teeing off on the Bellarine Peninsula and Coastal Rowing making its debut in Torquay, the gateway to the iconic Great Ocean Road.

The Games village location is now also confirmed, with the Waurn Ponds Station Precinct to become the location for about 2,500 athletes and officials in March 2026.

The village will be designed in consultation with the local community and Traditional Owners, celebrating the rich culture of the Wadawurrung people and showcasing the lifestyle of Geelong, the Bellarine and the Surf Coast.

Kardinia Park’s hosting of the Games Closing Ceremony will see it welcome 40,000 spectators which will follow the venue hosting the final of the Games T20 Cricket competition.

During Victoria 2026, Geelong will also be home to a program of live sites including music, performance and art, showcasing its waterfront and Arts Precinct.

Commenting on Geelong’s role in the Games, Victorian Minister for Commonwealth Games Delivery, Jacinta Allan noted “tens of thousands of people will come to Geelong for Victoria 2026, and we’re investing in the world-class housing and sporting infrastructure that will benefit not only Games delivery but the community for years to come.

“What a win for Torquay to see a new Commonwealth sport get underway at one of the world’s finest beaches, as a centrepiece of our regional Games.”

The 2026 Commonwealth Games are set to run from 17th to 29th March6 and will take place across multiple Victorian regional hubs in Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton, Geelong and Gippsland.

The opening ceremony is currently due to be held on 17th March at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Image: Geelong’s Kardinia Park. Credit: Kardinia Park Stadium Trust.

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