Uncontested Birmingham looks certain to host 2022 Commonwealth Games
Birmingham in England now looks certain to stage the 2022 Commonwealth Games after it became the sole city to submit a bid to take over hosting the event from Durban in South Africa, which was stripped of the event in March because it did not meet the criteria set by the Commonwealth Games Federation.
Birmingham had earlier beaten off a rival English bid from Liverpool, to be selected as the UK candidate to host the games, while possible rival bids from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Victoria in Canada and a city in Australia were not forthcoming by the time of the revised bid deadline of Saturday.
However, David Grevemberg, chief executive of the CGF, insisted on Saturday that: “There have also been continued expressions of interest and support from Canada, Malaysia and Australia.”
The CGF is to review the bid to check that it “meets the requirements of successfully hosting” the event, with a final decision on the host set to be announced by the end of the year.
Birmingham’s budget for staging the games is at least £750 million ($1 billion), of which £500 million will come from central government. The budget would make it the most expensive event to be held in the UK since the London 2012 Olympic Games.
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 is the sole venue that would need to be built.
The city already has a range 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).