Government picks Birmingham ahead of Liverpool in race for Commonwealth Games

How the revamped Alexander Stadium could look

Birmingham has beaten rival Liverpool to be England’s choice as host city to stage the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has named the city as its preferred option but it will still have to convince the Commonwealth Games Federation it is capable of staging the high-profile event.

Senior figures from the city had been quietly confident that it would get the nod and the confirmation will accelerate plans for venue improvements across the city, including a major upgrade of to the Alexander Stadium.

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner said: “It is brilliant news that the government have chosen Birmingham over Liverpool to be the UK’s candidate city to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“It has been a long, hard contest so far and it is great that we have got the nod to go forward.

“The race isn’t over yet – we have still got to compete against a few other cities across the Commonwealth to host the Games in 2022.

“But this is a huge step forward. It is a massive vote of confidence from the government in Birmingham and in the whole region.”

Athletics legend Brendan Foster expressed his delight at the decision.

Foster, who retired from BBC athletics commentating duties at the World Championships last month, recently joined the team that presented Birmingham’s bid to the assessment panel and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

“I’m delighted but not all surprised that Birmingham is to go forward as the UK’s city to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games,” he said.

“It’s the right time, in the right place, in a city that has all the facilities in place.

“I’m convinced that Birmingham can take the next step and be awarded the Games. And when they are, they’ll have the opportunity to host the best ever Commonwealth Games.”

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