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Indoor arenas key to Birmingham 2022 bid

Birmingham has unveiled four indoor arenas that will play a pivotal role in delivering its Commonwealth Games 2022 bid.

The venues were selected following careful assessment of Commonwealth Games Federation guidelines regarding athletes’ needs, the technical specifications, seating capacity and Games-time logistics.

As part of the selection process, the bid committee looked closely at how to utilise Birmingham’s wealth of existing sports venues and facilities, ensuring connectivity and accessibility and maximising spectator numbers.

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 will 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.

The NEC, part of the NEC Group, brings with it almost 2,000 employees providing event management expertise, and robust back of house infrastructure and facilities.

Phil Mead, managing director NEC Group Arenas and member of the Birmingham 2022 Steering Group, said:

We have a wealth of fantastic venues ready and able to deliver world-class events for 2022 including the NEC, Genting Arena and Barclaycard Arena and we are currently gearing up to host the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in 2018 which further demonstrates our credibility and capability.

We have also invested significantly into our venues in recent years to set us apart from our competitors. We saw at the London 2012 Olympics how a major indoor venue could successfully host multiple sports events and how the public and athletes thrived on the opportunity to experience so many sports in close proximity with a compact Games proposition.

In addition to the NEC, Birmingham will also use the following venues:

Barclaycard Arena will host Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics

Genting Arena will host Badminton

Symphony Hall will host Weightlifting and Para Powerlifting

These four existing indoor venues alone will provide spectators with more than 500,000 opportunities to watch the action during Games time.

Ian Ward, deputy leader Birmingham City Council and chair, Birmingham Commonwealth Games Steering Group, said:

We have undertaken a rigorous process to identify the venues which meet the Games’ technical requirements and ensure we meet the athletes’ and spectators’ needs. These world class indoor arenas are central to our bid and contribute to the 95% of Birmingham’s venues which are already available. With a heritage of delivering world-class international events these four venues will provide over 50 days of competition for fans to enjoy during the Birmingham 2022 Games.