Birmingham in line for 2022 Commonwealth Games after UK government backing
The 2022 Commonwealth Games appear destined for Birmingham after the English city officially received the support of the UK government today.
Birmingham saw off internal competition from Liverpool earlier this month to be named the UK's candidate city, but the bid still needed to be underwritten by the government.
Submissions from cities interested in staging the games must be received by the Commonwealth Games Federation by tomorrow, and it is unlikely there will be any competition to Birmingham.
Kuala Lumpur has struggled to get the backing of the Malaysian government, while Victoria in Canada has already announced it will not proceed with a bid. Commonwealth Games Australia is focusing on next year's event in Gold Coast and bids for either the 2026 or 2030 edition.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games are expected to cost around £750 million ($1 billion), of which £500 million will come from central government.
Durban in South Africa was previously stripped of hosting rights for failing to meet a number of key guarantees earlier this year.
A key part of Birmingham 2022's pledge to the CGF is to deliver a “low cost, low risk, high quality games,” with 95 per cent of necessary competition venues already in place. An aquatics centre would be the sole venue needed to be built.
The city already has a number of existing venues, with the likes of Villa Park, home to soccer’s second-tier Aston Villa, slated to stage rugby sevens, and the Ericsson Indoor Arena, home to Wasps Netball, at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry holding netball.
The NEC, one of the leading exhibition spaces in Europe, would stage boxing, judo, table tennis and freestyle wrestling, while the adjacent Genting Arena would host badminton and the Barclaycard Arena in the city centre would be home to artistic and rhythmic gymnastics.
An upgraded Alexander Stadium, one of the UK’s leading athletics venues, would stage the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as track and field.
It is set to be the third time since 2000 that the UK has staged the Commonwealth Games, after Manchester (2002) and Glasgow (2014).