Venues lined up for 2022 Games City reveals detailed plan to host range of sports in ready-made venues
WEIGHTLIFTING in the home of the CBSO could be one of the most striking aspects of Birmingham’s 2022 Commonwealth Games bid.
More accustomed to hosting the world’s leading orchestras, the elegant Symphony Hall will instead be home to the weight-lifting competition, while visitors to the NEC near to the airport, will be able to watch boxing, table tennis, judo and wrestling.
Meanwhile, the Commonwealth’s leading gymnasts will be no stranger to the Barclaycard Arena which has hosted World and European championships. And the Genting Arena has been lined up for badminton.
Birmingham is going head-tohead with Liverpool for the UK entry for the 2022 Games in an unexpectedly short bidding process. And with the Government keen to keep costs low and the need to get the city ready within a tight timescale, Birmingham this week revealed that 95 per cent of its world-class venues are already in place.
NEC Group managing director Phil Mead said: “The NEC Group is one of the world’s leading venue operators and has been creating unforgettable live experiences for over 40 years.
“Over that period, we have proven our ability to deliver by hosting over 60 international sports events such as World and European Indoor Athletics Championships, Davis Cup tennis, Yonex All England Badmin- ton Championships, European and World Gymnastics Championships, International Netball and World BMX Championships, but in all that time Birmingham has not had the chance to host a major multi-sport event. We believe the time is right now. We have a wealth of fantastic venues ready and able to deliver world-class events for 2022 including the NEC, Genting Arena and Bar- claycard Arena and we are currently gearing up to host the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in 2018 which further demonstrates our credibility and capability.
“We have also invested significantly into our venues in recent years to set us apart from our competitors. We saw at the London 2012 Olympics how a major indoor venue could successfully host multiple sports events and how the public and athletes thrived on the opportunity to experience so many sports in close proximity with a compact Games proposition.”
The athletics will take place in an upgraded Alexander Stadium and other venues are likely to include the University of Birmingham’s hockey pitches, Edgbaston Cricket Stadium, the Perry Park BMX track and Villa Park. Only a competition standard pool needs to be built from scratch.
Chairman of the Birmingham bid committee Cllr Ian Ward said that 95 per cent of venues are ready. He said: “With a heritage of delivering worldclass international events these four venues will provide over 50 days of competition for fans to enjoy during the Birmingham 2022 Games.”
> How weighlifting at the Symphony Hall could look at the 2022 Games