The 21st Commonwealth Games is heading to Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018 and, as you would expect, a herculean level of investment has been made to cater for the Games.
The organisers will deliver 11 days of world class sporting competition, 4-15 April; the fifth time Australia has staged the event and the first time it will be held in a regional Australian city.
It will be the largest sporting event to be staged in Australia this decade, and the largest the Gold Coast has ever hosted. Over the course of the fortnight, events will take place across 18 purpose-built venues.
The infrastructure is forecast to generate at least A$2bn (US$1.5bn) for the region. The Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 extension, which is costing A$420m, is due to be completed in time for the event, as well as road upgrades (A$160.7m).
A A$300m private sector upgrade to Gold Coast Airport will also be completed in time for the Games.
Over 7,000 bed spaces are required to house the athletes, team officials and travelling media.
With the event lasting only two weeks, the legacy of such investment is equally as important as the Games themselves. As such, conferencing and events have been at the forefront of the legacy drive.
What does the Commonwealth Games mean to the Gold Coast and its people?
Anna Case, director, Gold Coast Business Events told CMW: “It will be an opportunity to demonstrate what we do best, with over 6,600 athletes and officials coming to the city to see first-hand our capabilities to deliver a world class event. It signifies that we’ve really come of age as an international destination, and the entire city will be embracing the energy and camaraderie of this incredible experience.”
How important is the legacy of the site going forward?
Case explains: “From a business events perspective, new infrastructure will bring a lasting legacy, with new event space, upgraded venues and new experiences for delegates.
“Considerable effort has been directed at ensuring the Commonwealth Games bring opportunities and benefits to the Gold Coast after the event, with a focus on building positive and lasting benefits from hosting GC2018.”
What does Case believe will make the Gold Coast Games site an ideal for international delegations for conferences and congresses?
“All the new facilities being built are delivering more choice for business events. The Star Gold Coast represents a significant enhancement to our business events offering, with an A$845m transformation taking shape. At the same time, many hotels are undergoing upgrades and refurbishments,” she says.
“We’re excited about the extension to our light rail system, which connects to heavy rail and enables transfers from Brisbane International Airport.
“The new sporting facilities will give large groups options for gala dinners, exhibitions and off site events, providing a broader range of venue choice for event planners. Public spaces are now being transformed and upgraded, with millions spent enhancing parklands incorporating artwork, paving, recreational spaces and pavilions.”
Ahead of the event, the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Corporation has appointed two official travel agents: Flight Centre Travel and ATPI Sports Events.