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  • UK Government Backs Birmingham Bid


    (ATR) There will be at least one official candidate city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
    Birmingham beat out Liverpool to be UK's candidate city (Birmingham 2022)

    The United Kingdom’s Culture Secretary Karen Bradley announced on Friday that Birmingham is to be the UK’s official choice to host in 2022.

    Earlier this month, Birmingham beat out Liverpool as the country’s candidate city and has now convinced the UK government to approve the bid and underwrite much of its cost.

    The government, the Birmingham bid team and Commonwealth Games England are working together to finalize a formal bid submission to be delivered to the Commonwealth Games Federation by the Sept. 30 deadline.

    “The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham would be brilliant. It would showcase the best of Britain to the world and make the entire country proud,” Bradley said in a statement.

    “Not only would it help grow the economy in the West Midlands and beyond, it would also leave a strong sports legacy, by upgrading facilities to benefit both elite athletes and the local community.”

    The government’s decision follows an extensive three-phase assessment process, including scrutiny from an independent panel and government officials, the submission of two formal applications and two site inspection visits.

    A renovated Alexander Stadium would host athletics and ceremonies (Birmingham 2022)
    Should Birmingham win the right to host the Games, the government will present a full budget to Parliament. Work on the budget has not been completed but the government will be the major funder with the Birmingham City Council responsible for 25 percent of the cost of the Games. Media reports say the government’s part of the budget could total about $1 billion.

    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, host of the 1998 Commonwealth Games, is currently the only other city still in the running to host in 2022. The sole remaining Canadian bid city, Victoria, pulled out of the race last month when the British Columbia provincial government declined to help fund the bid.

    The Commonwealth Games Federation created a fast-track process for the 2022 event after it revoked the original hosting rights of Durban, South Africa in March due to a lack of organization and financial commitments. The CGF says it wants to choose a host by the end of the year.

    Australia had also admitted interest to a bid in April, according to the CGF. But Commonwealth Games Australia chief executive Craig Phillips has been on record since March saying an Australian bid would be made only as a last resort.

    Australia’s Gold Coast is hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April.

    Written by Gerard Farek

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