The 2026 Commonwealth Games are set to be awarded to Victoria in Australia.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) have entered an ‘exclusive dialogue’ period with the state’s authorities.
While a submission still has to be formally evaluated, Victoria is now likely to be officially confirmed as the host in April.
The news will come as a major relief to the CGF which had been trying to find a host to follow Birmingham.
Birmingham will stage the 2022 Games in July.
“We are pleased to have entered into an exclusive dialogue with Victoria,” CGF president Dame Louise Martin said.
“Following months of positive discussions, it is clear that Victoria has an exciting vision for a future Games.
“Victoria is one of the world’s greatest sporting states and there is no doubt it has the venues, infrastructure and people to stage a world-class edition of the Games.”
Last year a new strategic roadmap was unveiled in an attempt to attract bidders for the event, with future hosts given greater flexibility on the sports they include, and only athletics and swimming compulsory under the plan.
Victoria 2026 could also be the first to feature esports as part of the main medal programme. Last week a controversial plan to include it as a pilot event at Birmingham 2022 was revealed.
Australia has staged the Commonwealth Games on five occasions, with Victoria playing host to the Melbourne 2006 edition. Gold Coast staged the most recent event in 2018, and a return so soon could raise concerns that the Games have become too reliant on the country.
However, Victoria does has a strong track record for staging high profile sport, including the Australian Open tennis, the Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix, and the Melbourne Cup.
Victoria is now set to host the 23rd edition of the Games, which first began in Hamilton, Canada in 1930.