Birmingham has been announced as the new host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in a move that will bring the multi-sport event back to England for the first time in two decades.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) made the announcement in Birmingham, with the Games expected to take place from July 27 to August 7, 2022. CGF president Louise Martin said: “We warmly congratulate Birmingham and England on today’s announcement – it is a defining moment for this truly Commonwealth city.
The 2022 Games is expected to come with a price tag of £750m (€852m/$1.01bn) and today’s announcement marks the end of a difficult process for the CGF. Birmingham has landed the Games after the CGF in March removed the hosting rights from Durban amid long-running concern over financing of the event in the South African city.
The recall of hosting rights from Durban led to a new bidding process being launched. In May, the CGF announced that Australia, Canada, Malaysia and the UK were in contention to become the new host, with the level of interest shown leading the organisation to take more time over a decision.
In September, the UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) backed Birmingham’s bid over a proposition from fellow English city Liverpool. Like Liverpool, Birmingham had originally been targeting the 2026 Games, but brought forward its plans following the removal of rights from Durban.
Birmingham appeared to be in pole position to secure the Games in October after the city submitted the only confirmed bid for the event by the deadline set by the CGF. However, the CGF later extended the bidding deadline until November 30 after stating the sole bid from Birmingham was deemed to be “not fully compliant.” Earlier this month, the CGF announced that updates had been sent in from Australia, Canada and Malaysia, as well as England, after the secondary deadline passed.
“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” said the CGF president.
“The vast majority of the Games venues are in place, and with extensive experience in the UK of hosting successful major events – including Manchester 2002, London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 - the CGF looks forward to a truly spectacular Games that delivers not only for the 2.4 billion citizens across the Commonwealth but the wider world, too.”
Martin today also thanked Canada, Malaysia and Australia for the continued interest expressed in hosting a future Commonwealth Games, and confirmed that the Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs) in these countries have signalled their potential hosting interest in either 2026 or 2030.
The Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee will be the first to benefit from the new CGF Partnerships delivery model instigated by the federation earlier this year as the CGF takes an increasingly active and direct role in the delivery of the Games through the creation of an integrated delivery team, working in close partnership with the host city and CGA.
Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council and chair of the bid team, said: “This is a wonderful way to end the year and celebrate the festive season – with an early Christmas present for the city! 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.”