The English city of Birmingham has today (Thursday) been awarded hosting rights for the 2022 edition of the Commonwealth Games multi-sport event.
Birmingham replaces Durban as the host of the event. The South African city was stripped of the Games earlier this year amid financial concerns.
Birmingham was selected as the UK’s bid ahead of Liverpool back in September, and the Midlands city has now seen of competition from Australia, Canada and Malaysia to land the event.
Louise Marin, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, praised Birmingham for its bid. “We warmly congratulate Birmingham and England on today’s announcement – it is a defining moment for this truly Commonwealth city,” she said.
“With its rich history, cultural diversity, youthful dynamism and ambitious spirit, Birmingham embodies all that we cherish about the Commonwealth, and so the Commonwealth Sports Movement looks forward to collaborating with all the Games partners to showcase the city’s humanity and pride to a global audience over the coming months and years.
“The vast majority of the Games venues are in place, and with extensive experience in the UK of hosting successful major events – including Manchester 2002, London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 – the CGF looks forward to a truly spectacular Games that delivers not only for the 2.4 billion citizens across the Commonwealth but the wider world, too. Today is a fantastic day for Birmingham, global Britain and our resurgent Commonwealth Sports Movement.”
Martin said that the Commonwealth Games Associations of Canada, Malaysia and Australia have expressed an interest in bidding for the 2026 or 2030 editions of the event. Australia’s Gold Coast region is due to host next year’s Games.
Ninety five per cent of the venues identified for Birmingham’s event have already been built. Venues that are set to host competitions include Alexander Stadium, Arena Birmingham and Genting Arena. Alexander Stadium is set to be significantly expanded ahead of the Games.
The UK’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley, added: “Birmingham will put on a fantastic Commonwealth Games in 2022 and I am delighted that the Commonwealth Games Federation has awarded us the right to host what will be a sporting spectacular.
“The Games will also give us a chance to show the best of Britain to the world, give great opportunities to the people and businesses of the West Midlands and beyond while inspiring many to get involved in sport. I look forward to working with the Commonwealth Games Federation, Commonwealth Games England and Birmingham City Council over the coming years as we prepare for 2022.”
The Birmingham 2022 organising committee will also be the first to benefit from the new CGF Partnerships delivery model, through which the CGF will take on a more active and direct role in the delivery of the event with the host city and CGA.
The UK also staged the most recent edition of the Games in 2014, when the Scottish city of Glasgow hosted.