World War II interrupted the staging of the British Empire Games scheduled for 1942 and 1946, however the enthusiasm from within the British Empire to continue what was started in 1930 was strong.
Awarded to New Zealand, the IV Games were held at the nation’s largest city, Auckland. The country had never been the focus of so much sporting attention and the hosts responded in a most magnificent and hospitable manner.
The opening ceremony at Eden Park was attended by 40,000 spectators, whilst nearly 250,000 people attended the Auckland Games, paying out a total of ?89,435 ;as event spectators.
The atmosphere of the Opening Ceremony is best described by this paragraph from the Official Record of the Games:
"The entrance of the gladiators in the days of ancient Athens and ancient Rome could not have been more impressive than was that Parade at Eden Park on the afternoon of February 4, 1950. As one, the crowd stitted by the majesty of the colourful scene, wonderful too in its simplicity, rose to its feet to remain standing throughout the ceremony, cheering to the echo as the parade passed on its way around the stadium..."
Twelve countries sent a total of 590 athletes to Auckland. Newly formed Malaysia and Nigeria made their first appearance.
Nine sports featured at the Auckland Games – athletics, boxing, cycling, fencing, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming and diving, weightlifting and wrestling.