Features

2023 in review – July

Featured image credit: Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium hosts athletics during the Commonwealth Games

Featured image credit: Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium hosts athletics during the Commonwealth Games

The future of the Commonwealth Games was placed in doubt in July after the state government in Victoria, Australia announced that it would not proceed with hosting the 2026 event due to rising costs.

The government said it was “certain” the cost of hosting the Games would exceed A$6bn (£3.2bn/€3.7bn/$4.1bn), which would be more than twice the estimated economic benefit the event would bring to the state. The government later agreed to pay A$380m in compensation.

Meanwhile, Scottish Gas acquired naming rights to Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium as part of a wide-ranging sponsorship deal with Scottish Rugby.

Scottish Gas replaced telecommunications company BT, which had sponsored Murrayfield since October 2014. The stadium is now officially known as Scottish Gas Murrayfield.

Elsewhere in the UK, Manchester’s under-construction Co-op Live arena welcomed the first guests to its main bowl as it held a ‘topping out’ ceremony attended by partners, venue stakeholders and premium guests.

Later in the month, Co-op Live announced the Jonas Brothers as one of the artists that would perform during its opening season. The 23,500-capacity arena is due to open in April.

In other news, Premier League club Liverpool announced that Anfield would operate at reduced capacity for the opening exchanges of the 2023-24 season due to delays in the delivery of the new Anfield Road Stand.

July also saw Major League Cricket officially launch its inaugural season in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Grand Prairie Stadium witnessed the Texas Super Kings register a 69-run win over the Los Angeles Knight Riders in front of a sell-out crowd at the 7,200-capacity venue.