Birmingham to host Commonwealth Games of 2022 in £750m project

21 December 2017

Birmingham will be named as the host city of the 2022 Commonwealth Games on Thursday after a tumultuous bidding process.

The Games will therefore be held in England for the first time since Manchester hosted the multi-sport event in 2002. The Birmingham bid suffered an unexpected setback when it was deemed “non-compliant” by the Commonwealth Games Federation in October. But the bid team, supported by Birmingham city council and the digital, culture, media and sport select committee, was able to give the necessary assurances over the financial backing and land for a proposed athletes’ village.

The cost of the holding the Games is expected to be around £750m. The Government has pledged to cover £560m of that with the local council responsible for around £180m. In order to cover that cost, Birmingham is expected to become the first city in the UK to introduce a hotel tax. It is understood that will entail visitors to the city paying an additional £2 per night on bills, a practice which is common in many European cities.

The South African city of Durban had been selected as the original host but it was stripped of the Games in March, after failing to meet numerous financial deadlines. Birmingham and Liverpool were both interested in hosting and it became a head-to-head battle between the two but the government preferred the Birmingham bid. After it was eventually deemed “non compliant”, however, the deadline for other cities to apply was extended in an effort to encourage a rival bidder.

No other city came forward and it is expected that the Commonwealth Games Federation president, Louise Martin, will confirm Birmingham as the host for 2022 at a press conference in the city on Thursday.

It is understood to have been given reassurances that Birmingham city council has secured a large plot of land in the Perry Barr area, close to Alexander Stadium which will host the athletics, for a proposed athletes’ village.

Ian Ward, the Birmingham 2022 bid leader, suggested that the village could provide 1,000 new homes in the city after the Games have finished, while major transport projects would be advanced. The Alexander Stadium, which hosts the British Athletics Championships every June, will also receive an upgrade.

Ward estimated that an extra 4,526 jobs will be created in the West Midlands until 2022 and around 950 per annum in the subsequent years.

Australia’s Gold Coast will host the next edition of the Commonwealth Games in April next year while Kuala Lumpur is a front-runner for the 2026 Games.