Birmingham shows off sporting venues as it officially launches 2026 Commonwealth Games bid

Council leader John Clancy said hosting the Games would deliver positive economic impact to the city and wider area

Venues such as Villa Park, the Alexander Stadium and the NEC Arena could host Commonwealth Games events, if Birmingham wins its bid to organise the 2026 event. 

The ‘second city’ has officially entered the race to host the Games in a decade’s time, and will now commission a feasibility study to work out the detail of staging such a high profile event. 

Birmingham City Council, the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, the West Midlands Combined Authority and Midlands Engine have supported the bid. 

It is estimated that the Commonwealth Games would generate “in excess of £390m (US$505.2m, €452m) in gross value added” for the local economy. 

John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council, said Birmingham was a “fantastic sporting city”, and the bid team is likely to put the vast number of venues at the forefront of any bid. 

Facilities in the local area include Edgbaston Cricket Ground, the Genting Arena, the Barclaycard Arena and St Andrew’s Football Club. 

Closeby Coventry also has the Ricoh Arena, which has hosted rugby, football, netball, darts and weightlifting. 

Clancy added: “In addition to the huge economic impact, these events showcase the very best of our city and wider region to the world.” 

According to the council, planning for the Games would boost the city’s transport and housing plans, while thousands of jobs are expected to be created. 

Birmingham is the second English city to bid for the Games after Liverpool revealed its own campaign earlier this year. Mayor Joe Anderson has already hired a firm to carry out its own feasibility study. The government will decide which city – if any – will be chosen to host the Games. 

Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea and Edmonton in Canada are the other two cities to confirm official bids thus far. 

Manchester was the last English city to host the Games in 2002.

First published on www.sportsmanagement.co.uk 30 September 2016, written by Matthew Campelli