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Birmingham Commonwealth Games bid gets government go-ahead

Birmingham Commonwealth Games bid gets government go-ahead

Birmingham confirmed as the UK’s official candidate city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games

The government has confirmed that Birmingham is to be the UK’s official candidate city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said the city would put on a “brilliant Games that will showcase the best of Britain to the world and make the entire country proud”.

The Birmingham bid team is working with the government and Commonwealth Games England to finalise the formal bid submission to be delivered to the Commonwealth Games Federation tomorrow (September 30). This comes after Birmingham beat Liverpool earlier this month in the race to be the English candidate city.

Kuala Lumpur could also be among the bidders for the 2022 Games after South African city Durban lost the right to host the event earlier this year. But the Malaysian capital may instead target the 2026 Games if it fails to achieve support from its own government ahead of the 2022 bid deadline.

Bradley added: “Birmingham’s bid has the backing of the government and our focus now is to work alongside Birmingham’s excellent bid team and Commonwealth Games England to put forward the strongest possible bid to the Commonwealth Games Federation, while ensuring that we get maximum value for money for the taxpayer.

“The UK has fantastic expertise in staging major sporting events and it would be a privilege to welcome athletes and supporters from across the Commonwealth to Birmingham and the West Midlands in 2022.”

Should the bid be successful, major athletics will first return to Birmingham next March as the city hosts the IAAF World Indoor Championships. It will be the city’s second hosting of the event, having previously staged the Championships in 2003.

The inaugural Birmingham International Marathon will also take place in October, along with the Great Birmingham Run.

Birmingham’s bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games includes extensive renovation of the Alexander Stadium (pictured), where athletics plus the opening and closing ceremonies would be held.

An “enhanced and refurbished” Alexander Stadium is said to be “pivotal” to the Birmingham 2022 Games.

Birmingham’s bid uses competition venues in Solihull, Coventry, Sandwell and Leamington Spa as well as training venues across the region.

Ian Metcalfe, chair of Commonwealth Games England, said: “Anyone who experienced Manchester in 2002, London in 2012 or Glasgow in 2014 will know just how special major sporting events in the UK can be. I am sure that Birmingham can stage an unforgettable Commonwealth Games in 2022. Birmingham’s exciting bid shows that the Games will not only deliver a sport programme of the highest calibre but also provide an amazing platform for the country as a whole.

“Alongside the Birmingham 2022 team, we look forward to presenting the strongest possible bid to the Commonwealth Games Federation in the hope that we can welcome the whole Commonwealth movement to England for the Games in 2022.”

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