Birmingham and Liverpool will face off for the right to become the UK’s candidate to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games after it was confirmed that fellow English cities London and Manchester will not make bids for the multi-sport showpiece.
UK news agency Press Association Sport said Birmingham and Liverpool confirmed their bids at a meeting at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in London last week, which was also attended by Commonwealth Games England and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
The CGF is seeking a new host for its 2022 event after hosting rights were removed from Durban in March amid long-running concern over financing of the Games in the South African city. Birmingham and Liverpool had both been preparing bids for the 2026 Games, but have brought these plans forward.
Birmingham last week had its bid to host the 2022 Games formally endorsed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), a move that saw it formally express its interest to the UK government. Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson this month said the city is prepared to lead a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ bid for the event alongside Manchester and the wider northwest region.
Manchester hosted the 2002 Games and its city council last month said it would not submit a sole bid for the event, saying it would be “inappropriate” to compete with other English cities, but adding it would be open to working with another bidder.
London’s interest has always been less clear. A spokesperson for Mayor Sadiq Khan told Press Association Sport: “It is great that four countries – including several UK cities – have expressed an interest in bidding to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“While London remains focused on delivering the biggest sports event of this year – the IPC and IAAF World Athletics Championships – we wish the UK bidders every success in winning the rights to host the Games in 2022.”
The CGF this month confirmed that Australia, Canada, Malaysia and the UK are in contention to stage the 2022 Games. The CGF had been expected to make a decision on the new destination for the 2022 Games in the summer, but a decision is now not expected to be made until early autumn due to the number of interested parties.
The most recent edition of the Games took place in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014. Australia’s Gold Coast region will play host in 2018.