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Liverpool and Birmingham eye Commonwealth games bids

Liverpool and Birmingham eye Commonwealth games bids

Liverpool and Birmingham are both considering bids to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games after the original host city of Durban pulled out.

The South African port city has withdrawn after revealing it is unable to finance the project and this has led to the two English cities both expressing an interest.

If Birmingham or Liverpool were to host the games, it would mean hundreds of millions of pounds being spent on the construction of venues for the event. In addition, the sporting extravaganza could be used to help spur urban regeneration as has happened in other UK cities such as Manchester and Glasgow - which hosted the 2002 and 2014 Games - and 2012 Olympic city London.

Birmingham has already been preparing a bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games and deputy leader of the city council Ian Ward said: "We are aware of the decision from the Commonwealth Games Federation to seek a new host for the 2022 Games.

"Here in Birmingham, we are already in the advanced stages of producing a detailed feasibility study on what would be needed for a truly memorable games in the city."

A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council said it would be "very willing" to step in to host the 2022 Games.

The Manchester 2002 Games has been seen as playing a major part in developing the run-down east of the city, while London has similarly seen extensive development in the area around Stratford, with new transport links, housing, the Westfield Stratford shopping centre and the huge new public open space of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park itself all adding to the new sporting facilities.

Critically, both cities avoided white elephants by having their main stadiums converted into football venues; the City of Manchester Stadium became a new home for Manchester City, while the Olympic Stadium now hosts West Ham United  home matches?, although it retains the curved shape with a running track to enable it to stage athletics. Both club's former homes of Maine Road and Upton Park respectively have been dedicated for new housing and schools.

It remains to be seen if Aston Villa or Birmingham City would move into a new stadium in Birmingham, but such a venue in Liverpool could help end Everton's drawn-out search? for a new stadium.

Image: London 2012


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