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Birmingham to lead English Commonwealth Games bid

Birmingham to lead English Commonwealth Games bid

Birmingham has been chosen to bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games on behalf of England, after it was chosen ahead of Liverpool.

It means there is an increased prospect of major sports-related construction projects taking place in and near the city, although there will still be competition from overseas bids elsewhere in the Commonwealth.

Among the projects this would involve are the expansion of the Alexander Stadium, where athletics events will take place, to a 40,000-capacity venue. Other developments will include a cycling velodrome in Dudley and an aquatics centre in Wolverhampton.

Many of the venues are already in place, such as the indoor sports facilities in the Barclaycard Arena and the National Exhibition Centre. Edgbaston can stage Twenty20 cricket and Rugby Sevens can be played at any of several local football grounds.

The rival cities had both thrown their hats in the ring after Durban was stripped of the Games due to a cash crisis, and both passed an initial bid inspection in July. 

England's Commonwealth Games chiefs have subsequently studied the bids in detail and recommended to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport that Birmingham should go forward.

If Birmingham does host the Games, it will be the first English city to do so since Manchester in 2002, although Glasgow staged the 2014 Games. It is far from certain to win, as it will face potential competition from Canada, Malaysia and Australia. However, the latter faces a potential problem as it would mean the country hosting successive Games after the Gold Coast stages the 2018 event.

Although Liverpool will be disappointed, there will be at least one major sports construction project in the city anyway, as the stadium at the Bramley Moore Dock brownfield site that would have hosted the athletics is set to be built anyway as a new home for Everton Football Club.

Neighbours and rivals Liverpool could also be generating a couple of new construction schemes as it awaits a planning decision today (September 7th) on its plans to build a new academy in Kirkby.

If the £50 million project gets the go-ahead, the club's existing training facility at Melwood will be sold for housing.

Image: iStock


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