2026 Commonwealth Games
Victoria’s Minister for Commonwealth Games Delivery Jacinta Allan has confirmed that the development of the Eureka Stadium will start later this year ©Getty Images

Geotech testing at the Eureka Stadium in Ballarat have just wrapped up as part of preparations for the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria.

The AUD$150 million project is underway to revamp the venue which is set to host the athletics and Para athletics competitions during Victoria 2026.

As part of the work, Victoria-based geotechnical engineering specialists AS James carried out the testing to understand the condition of the soil to help with planning.

The team of experts drilled boreholes and excavating test pits at various locations across the 4.4 hectare site, with boreholes varying in depth between 1.5  and 8 meter’s. The team completed the testing by using a drilling rig mounted on a four-wheel drive, as well as a tracked drill rig for the rugged terrain. 

With the samples now collected, the holes will be backfilled later this month.

The boreholes will allow engineers to analyze physical samples of soil and rock beneath the surface to help better understand the ground conditions on site for when construction on the Morwell Games village gets underway later this year.

The Games village at Morwell will be a home-away-from-home for around 1,000 athletes and officials. Five sports will be staged in the region, including Shooting and Para Shooting, Women’s T20 Cricket, Badminton, Rugby Sevens and Road Cycling.

A new athletics track is expected to be laid while there are plans to install 5,000 permanent and 18,000 temporary seats to boost the capacity from 6,000 to almost 30,000 for the Games.

Victoria’s Minister for Commonwealth Games Delivery Jacinta Allan confirmed that major works on the venue were due to begin in late 2023.

“We’re getting on with upgrades to Eureka Stadium with geotechnical testing giving us a better understanding of the site, before works start later this year,” Allan said.

It is estimated the 2026 Commonwealth Games will create more than 600 full-time equivalent jobs before they start, 3,900 jobs during the Games and a further 3,000 jobs after the Closing Ceremony and is expected to contribute more than $3 billion to Victoria’s economy.

As stated by Minister for Commonwealth Games Delivery Jacinta Allan

We’re getting on with delivering the Commonwealth Games in regional Victoria and the geotechnical investigations are an important first step in the planning and design of the Morwell Games village.”