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Bidding reopens for 2022 Commonwealth Games


The deadline for bids to be the host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games has been extended after Birmingham’s proposal was deemed not ‘fully compliant’ – despite them being the only application

The new deadline, announced by Louise Martin, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), is now 30th November and has been reopened so that more time can be given to all interested parties to enable the submission of fully compliant proposals.

Despite Birmingham’s bid not being compliant, there was, however, no announcement as to why its bid had in fact failed to comply.

Who placed bids?

For the 2022 campaign, two cities initially launched bids for the Games – Durban in South Africa, and Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. However, Edmonton withdrew their bid in 2015, and Durban withdrew theirs earlier this year. A new bidding process was then opened, through which Birmingham placed a bid, making them the sole contender to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, having been the only city of the Commonwealth of Nations to have submitted a legitimate bid before the deadline of 30th September. Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Victoria in British Columbia Canada and a potential Australian entry were possible bidders but none came forward.

Birmingham won initial backing from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, and their next challenge was to convince the government to approve the bid and underwrite the sporting event’s costs, who then subsequently agreed to cover 75% of the total funds. Local authorities would then have needed to raise the further 25% of the overall cost of staging the event.

The expected cost of staging the Games in Birmingham was thought to be between £600 and £750 million with venues listed in Birmingham’s bid including an upgraded Alexander Stadium, Villa Park, the NEC, Birmingham Arena, Symphony Hall and the University of Birmingham. There were also facilities planned in Coventry, Sandwell and Leamington Spa.

Until the UK government decided to back Birmingham’s proposal, Liverpool had actually been preparing its own bid and Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson claimed that his city’s bid was compliant and that ‘there are definitely questions to be asked’ about why the government chose a ‘non-compliant bid’.

What are the Commonwealth Games?

The Commonwealth Games (comprising nations who were either formally British colonies or dependencies of those colonies) is a multi-sport event and, like many other international sporting events, occurs every four years. The latest was hosted in Glasgow in 2014, while 2018’s event will take place in the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. Scotland and Australia have both hosted the event before, and even though seventy nations are participating in Gold Coast 2018, only six nations have attended every single Commonwealth Games dating back to 1930 (discarding the Inter-Empire Championships in 1911) – England, Scotland, Wales, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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