Lee McConnell: Second Glasgow Commonwealth Games would be 'amazing'

The double Commonwealth Games medal winner is adamant that Glasgow could be ready in short notice.

Scottish runner Lee McConnell says prospect of Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is ‘amazing’ SNS Group

Retired Scottish runner Lee McConnell says the prospect of Glasgow hosting a second Commonwealth Games in just over ten years is “amazing”.

The 45-year-old former athlete, who has won two medals at the games, admits that it would be a quick turn around to be be ready for 2026 but insists it can be done.

The Commonwealth Games were initially due to be held in Victoria but the Australian state pulled out last year over rising costs.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is in advanced talks with other nations to host the games, but a back-up plan has been drawn up for the competition to return to Glasgow, where it was held in 2014, if talks with other countries fail.

If successful, it would be the second time the Commonwealth Games is held in Glasgow and the fourth in Scotland.

McConnell, who won 400m silver in Manchester in 2002 and bronze in the hurdles two years later, said: “It’s quite a surprise, we’re coming up to the ten year anniversary of the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and it’s a bit of a celebration, so to think that it could be back in two years time is amazing.

“It would be a real shame to lose the Commonwealth Games for this round, its a fantastic way for younger athletes to get experience in their career and its the only time you get to wear the Scotland vest.

“There’s no doubt that Glasgow is capable of hosting the Commonwealth Games again. In the last decade the city has had a lot of experience of event hosting and has demonstrated it has the ability and experience to do so.

“Although it’s a very short timeframe to turn it around.”

Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) said its 2026 proposal for the games would require no significant public investment and would mostly use existing facilities.

It estimated that costs could be as high as £150m with £100m being funded directly by the CGF.

The rest of the cash would be produced commercially through ticketing, sponsorships and broadcasting.

The games would be significantly slimmed down under the plans with Scotland’s biggest city offering around ten to 13 sports instead of the 20 Birmingham had in 2022.

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