1. ITV Report

One step closer! Government backs Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games bid

The government has backed Birmingham’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games. Credit: Birmingham City Council

Birmingham is now one step closer to hosting the Commonwealth Games after the government officially backed its bid.

The deadline for other countries to submit their bid to host the 2022 games is on Saturday, and so far only Birmingham has put itself forward.

Even if no other city bids for the games, there will still be a period of due diligence where the Commonwealth Games Federation will check Birmingham’s bid is viable.

A formal decision isn’t expected until November.

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch praised Birmingham’s bid, saying it was extremely ‘compelling’.

She said:

We found the Birmingham bid very compelling and much of the infrastructure is already in place. Birmingham also provided a very strong legacy from the games and this is a real opportunity to showcase Birmingham to the rest of the world.

– Tracey Crouch, Sports Minister

A total of 20 sports will take place across 15 venues, and the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow saw a global TV audience of 1.5 billion.

Just one venue would need to be completed before the second city was ready to take on the games: the Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

Other venues which would include the Alexander Stadium for athletics and Victoria Park in Royal Leamington Spa for lawn bowls.

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Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley said Birmingham would put on a “brilliant" games.

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.

– Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

If Birmingham were to host the games, it would have a huge impact on the city and the West Midlands.

When Glasgow hosted the Games back in 2014, the event attracted around 690,000 visitors, generating an extra £100 million to the city’s economy.

Visitors spent an average of £98 a day during the event and hotel occupancy is thought to have reached 95% during the two weeks of the event.

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