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Birmingham the sole bidder for Commonwealth Games

Birmingham the sole bidder for Commonwealth Games

Birmingham is almost certain to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games after it ended up being the sole confirmed bidder for the event.

The city, which had made an unsuccessful bid to host the 1992 Olympics, was due to bid for the 2026 Games, but moved its plan forward after the original hosts Durban pulled out following a cash crisis.

After several English cities expressed an interest initially, Birmingham and Liverpool submitted bids, with British Commonwealth Games chiefs choosing the Midlands option.

City in other countries had been expected to compete with Birmingham, but Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Victoria in Canada both ultimately decided against bidding. An Australian bid had also been mooted, but with the Queensland City of Gold Coast hosting the 2018 Games, that would have meant the same country staging successive Games. 

The one hurdle left to clear is for Commonwealth Games Federation chiefs to confirm that the finances and infrastructure are in place for the city to host the Games. With government backing and 95 per cent of venues already in existence, this should not be a problem and the meeting in Sri Lanka at the end of this week should therefore rubber-stamp the event.

While the indoor arenas, a local football ground and Edgbaston Cricket Ground are all pre-existing, there will be major construction projects to expand the existing Alexander Stadium to a 40,000-seat venue. The Games will also need an athletes' village, while in the nearby Black Country a cycling velodrome will be built in Dudley and an aquatics centre in Wolverhampton.

Hosting the Games may have further benefits for the city by raising its profile and thus helping to attract private investment from around the world, not least from India as a fast-emerging economy. If this translates into bricks and mortar, it could mean more construction work in the Birmingham area.

Image: iStock

 

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