Birmingham has beaten Liverpool to become the recommended UK candidate to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
The Commonwealth Games Delivery Unit (CGDU) has recommended it as a Candidate City to host the Games, with Kuala Lumpur likely to be the main rival bid. Now the UK government must decide if a formal bid will be submitted.
Cllr Ian Ward, Deputy Leader and Chair of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bid Committee, said:
This is a great endorsement by the UK Government of Birmingham’s credentials to host the Games and recognition of the city’s resolve to deliver a memorable event.
We appreciate that it was a very close decision and that Liverpool pushed us all the way with a very compelling proposal. This is not the end of the journey and we look forward to working with the Government as it makes its final decision to support a UK Candidate City.
Central to Birmingham’s bid is the internationally recognised NEC, situated on a site which also includes the Genting Arena. With a combined total of 200,000m2, it is the UK’s, and one of Europe’s, largest indoor facilities.
Three of the NEC’s largest halls would host Boxing, Judo, Table Tennis and freestyle Wrestling. Halls 1, 4 and 5 have been selected to provide an optimal configuration, creating a compact multi-sport venue requiring minimal build requirements.
An enhanced and refurbished Alexander Stadium will also be pivotal to the Birmingham 2022 Games. Already established as an international athletics venue and home to UK Athletics, Birmingham will strengthen its reputation as the ‘City of Running’ through improving competition and training facilities at the stadium and increasing permanent seating capacity.
Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands, said:
The regional support of the Midlands was a key determining factor and I want to thank all those regional agencies and organisations that have worked hard over the last six months to get us to this position. We will make the Commonwealth proud.