"With its rich history, cultural diversity, youthful dynamism and ambitious spirit, Birmingham embodies all that we cherish about the Commonwealth."
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on Thursday (21 December) announced that it has selected Birmingham, England, as the host city partner of the XXII Commonwealth Games in 2022.
At a special Media Conference staged at the Arena Academy school in Birmingham, CGF President Louise Martin CBE applauded the city’s ambitious and innovative vision to engage and benefit its local community, showcase the best of global Britain and warmly welcome and inspire athletes and fans from right across the Commonwealth.
Birmingham 2022, which is expected to take place from 27 July – 7 August 2022, marks 20 years since Manchester 2002, the last time the Games were held in England.
CGF President Louise Martin CBE said: “We warmly congratulate Birmingham and England on today’s announcement – it is a defining moment for this truly Commonwealth city. 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.
“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. Today is a fantastic day for Birmingham, global Britain and our resurgent Commonwealth Sports Movement.”
The CGF President 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 final, complete Birmingham 2022 bid documentation was submitted by Commonwealth Games England (CGE), the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on behalf of the UK Government, and Birmingham City Council, supported by the West Midlands Combined Authority. The foundations for the Games have now been laid, with the official handover to Birmingham set to take place at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony on April 15 next year.
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley said: “Birmingham will put on a fantastic Commonwealth Games in 2022 and I am delighted that the Commonwealth Games Federation has awarded us the right to host what will be a sporting spectacular. The Games will also give us a chance to show the best of Britain to the world, give great opportunities to the people and businesses of the West Midlands and beyond while inspiring many to get involved in sport. I look forward to working with the Commonwealth Games Federation, Commonwealth Games England and Birmingham City Council over the coming years as we prepare for 2022.”
Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said: “The UK has a brilliant track record for putting on the biggest sport events in the world and it is great news that Birmingham has been selected to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. I am sure that we will put on an event that will make the country proud, leave a strong sporting legacy and strengthen relationships with our friends across the Commonwealth.”
Ian Metcalfe, Chair of Commonwealth Games England, added: “I am delighted that the Commonwealth Games Federation has awarded the 2022 Games to England and to Birmingham. In particular I am excited for all the Team England athletes who will have the immense privilege of competing at a home Games, backed by many thousands of proud England fans.
“England has a proud tradition of welcoming the world to our country and creating fantastic sports events, culture and the warmest of welcomes for the entire Commonwealth movement. We cannot wait to welcome the Commonwealth once again in 2022.
“Being awarded the Games is clearly just the start of a very long journey. We look forward to partnering with the Commonwealth Games Federation, Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region to deliver the best Commonwealth Games that anyone can remember.”
Thursday’s announcement by the CGF follows the Gold Coast 2018 Co-ordination Commission taking place earlier this month in Australia. Gold Coast 2018 organisers have committed to share all their experience and advice with Birmingham, passing on the baton and putting the city in the strongest position to deliver an inspiring, impactful and successful Games.