Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Bid - Who's backing the bid?

Sitting at the heart of the UK, and standing for the diversity of the Commonwealth, Birmingham is well positioned to attract people to the 2022 Commonwealth Games and to ensure that the benefits of hosting extend from the city and region, to the UK and the Commonwealth.

‘Birmingham: heart of the UK, soul of the Commonwealth’.

Birmingham has a track record of delivering large international sporting events, including the ICC Champions Trophy and The Ashes at Edgbaston; Rugby World Cup fixtures at Villa Park; and with 95% of the competition venues already in place, Birmingham 2022 has adopted a prudent and innovative approach to creating a low cost, low risk, high quality Games.

An enhanced and refurbished Alexander Stadium will be pivotal to the Birmingham 2022 Games. Already established as an international athletics venue and home to UK Athletics, Birmingham will strengthen its reputation as the ‘City of Running’ through improving competition and training facilities at the stadium and increasing permanent seating capacity.
Birmingham already hosts world class international athletics, including Diamond League, and this refurbishment will see Alexander Stadium becoming the national athletics venue. The British Championships/ World Trials; British Masters Championships and English Schools Championships will all take place at Alexander Stadium this year, demonstrating how Birmingham can inspire athletes of all ages and abilities.

The World Indoor Athletics Championships will also be in Birmingham in 2018. This will be the city’s second hosting of the event, having previously hosted in 2003. Additionally the inaugural Birmingham International Marathon will take place in October 2017. Starting at the Alexander Stadium it will see thousands of people celebrate Birmingham as the home of running.

Through rejuvenating Alexander Stadium, Birmingham 2022 will return to the Commonwealth Games tradition of the athletics stadium hosting the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

A new permanent seating arrangement of up to 25,000 seats will be increased to 40,000 during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, with flexibility to go higher. All athletics and para athletics disciplines for Birmingham 2022 (with the exception of the marathon, which will take place in Birmingham’s city centre) will take place in the Alexander Stadium ensuring that both track and field athletes benefit from the large crowds and their team’s support throughout their event.

Local athletics clubs including Birchfield Harriers, and local schools and the community will benefit from the multi-use spaces, including a 400m warm-up track, that will also be developed to ensure that Alexander Stadium has the technical capacity of an international venue.

Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and the Jamaican team were based in Birmingham ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and will be returning there ahead of the London 2017 World Championships. During London 2012, Bolt said: 

I'd like to say all the big up to Birmingham, the university. That’s where's we trained, they really supported us. We got everything possible. We got indoor facilities, the gym works and everything so for me it’s an honour. Thank you guys for everything you have done for me really. Thank you.

The United States Olympic Team was based in Birmingham ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the athletics team be returning ahead of the London 2018 World Championships. Patrick Sandusky of the US olypic comittee said: 

It is no coincidence that the US Track and Field team is returning to train in Birmingham ahead of the World Athletics Championships 2017. We had a great experience of the city ahead of the London 2012 Olympics. The training facilities are excellent; Alexander Stadium is the spiritual home of athletics in the UK; and the welcome and support we get from ‘The City of Running’ is exceptional. We wish Birmingham well in its quest to be the host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Niels de Vos, Chief Executive UK Athletics and member of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Steering Group, said: 

Birmingham has an unparalleled track record in staging major sporting events, including international athletics such as the Diamond League at Alexander Stadium. We have seen World, Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth champions compete in the stadium and we regularly see youngsters from sports and community clubs participating at a grassroots level. The enhanced and refurbished stadium that will result from a Birmingham 2022 Games will help to continue our sport’s legacy and benefit future generations of athletes. With the Indoor World Championships returning to Birmingham next year and USA and Jamaica again choosing Birmingham for their training bases, the City’s reputation for having fantastic facilities, being perfectly located and being welcoming hosts is internationally recognised. As the City of Running and as home to UK Athletics, I encourage athletes and fans to get behind the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games bid.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE lived in Birmingham for four years, training there ahead of the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games: 

I think the Commonwealth Games should come to Birmingham. I trained for Sydney in Birmingham and it’s a really good city that’s passionate about sport. It has a lot of great facilities already so you wouldn’t have to build from scratch. And if it’s good enough for Usain Bolt...

Katherine Merry, Olympic Bronze Medallist 400m, Sydney 2000: 

There are only 14 cities which host Diamond League athletics every year and Birmingham is one of them – that is massive. There is no doubt in my mind that there would be no problems handling a major sport event like the Commonwealth Games.

Nathan Douglas, European Championships and European Indoor Championships Silver Medallist and 2 x Commonwealth Games competitor, Triple Jump: 

It’s perfectly placed. It’s the heart of the country, transport links are brilliant, and everyone can get to Birmingham easily. It is also a vibrant city and probably the most diverse city in the country

Laura Samuel, Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist and World Junior Championship Silver Medallist, Triple Jump: 

I am backing the bid for Birmingham 2022 and hopefully we can get it. The facilities here are so amazing, they’re world class. We can really get the community involved, around Birchfield Harriers, around Birmingham, all the children in the schools and the volunteers – it’ll be really good.

Heather Paton, Sprint Hurdler, Birchfield Harriers: 

I think it would be an amazing opportunity to have the 2022 Commonwealth Games here. Birmingham is such a great city, it’s at the heart of the UK, it’ll bring everybody together and I think to have a huge crowd here would be amazing, at my home track.

Jake Porter, Sprint Hurdler, Birchfield Harriers: 

Having the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham would be a great opportunity for athletes like myself and the younger generation to be inspired and find their talent in any sport. The Commonwealth Games is a huge event that’s known globally and I think bringing it to Birmingham - where there’s already world class facilities - would be great for Birmingham in the heart of the country, and in the heart of Birmingham where the Alexander Stadium is based. I’m 100% backing the bid for 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Ian Ward, Deputy Leader Birmingham City Council and Chair, Birmingham Commonwealth Games Steering Group: 

Hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games will accelerate Birmingham’s existing development plans for homes, jobs, services and infrastructure. Sitting at the heart of the UK and standing for the diversity of the Commonwealth, with our population made up over 187 different nationalities and with 314,000 West Midlands residents born in a Commonwealth country, we are in a strong position to attract people to the Games and ensure that the benefits of hosting extend from the city and region, to the UK and Commonwealth. Our vision is brought to life through the new logo which positions Birmingham as the heart of the UK, soul of the Commonwealth. Our logo is open and inviting and its explosion of colour celebrates
Birmingham’s super-diversity and youthful energy. Nearly 40% of our population is under 25; and our pupils speak over 100 different languages, making Birmingham an inclusive and welcoming host.

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