Birmingham will host 2022 Commonwealth Games

Plans would see basketball in Victoria Square in Birmingham city centre.

Birmingham has finally been confirmed as the host city of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in a major boost to the region’s international standing.

After a false start in the autumn, when the Commonwealth Games Federation reopened the bidding although Birmingham had been the only bidder, the announcement has today been made in the city.

It will be the first time the Commonwealth Games has been held in England since 2002, when Manchester welcomed athletes from around the world in a sporting festival that had a huge economic impact on the city which is still being felt.

Birmingham’s bid has been confirmed this morning at Arena Academy, a school close to Alexander Stadium, which will be the focal point of the XXII Commonwealth Games in 2022.

“We warmly congratulate Birmingham and England on today’s announcement – it is a defining moment for this truly Commonwealth city,” said Louise Martin, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

“With its rich history, cultural diversity, youthful dynamism and ambitious spirit, Birmingham embodies all that we cherish about the Commonwealth, and so the Commonwealth Sports Movement looks forward to collaborating with all the Games partners to showcase the city’s humanity and pride to a global audience over the coming months and years.”

The foundations for the Games have now been laid, with the official handover to Birmingham set to take place at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony on April 15 next year.

The focus will then move to Birmingham, and the 2022 Games are expected to take place from July 27 – August 7.

Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council and chair of the bid team, said: “At the start of 2017 we were looking into the feasibility of hosting the Games in 2026, but when 2022 became a possibility in April, we made the decision to back ourselves even though we knew that we would need to do a lot of work in a short time frame. That work and belief has been rewarded.

“The hard work begins now and we all have just four-and-a-half years to deliver an unforgettable Games that will shape the future of our city, our region and our people. Thank you for backing Birmingham’s bid.”

Although the process has dragged on through the autumn, the city has been the only one to actually submit a bid.

Kuala Lumpur, Victoria in Canada, and Adelaide – as well as Liverpool, by virtue of the UK Government choosing to back Birmingham – have all not completed the race.

Birmingham’s original bid was previously judged to not be “fully compliant” and the CGF extended the deadline for bids by two months to November 30, to encourage other bids and to give Birmingham time to address its weaknesses.

Confirmation of Birmingham’s successful bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games was given at Arena Academy

The selection of a host city for the 2022 Games has been chaotic because it was originally awarded to Durban, South Africa, in 2015, only for the right to be withdrawn earlier this year.

Birmingham, along with Liverpool, had been building a business case for the 2026 Games but then accelerated the process once 2022 became an option.

The Commonwealth Games attracts athletes from around the world. Major countries include Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and Kenya, alongside the Caribbean nations.

More to follow.