Both UK Commonwealth Games bids for 2022 have been given the green light to proceed to the final phase of the domestic bid process by a government assessment panel Friday.
Commonwealth Games England Chief Paul Blanchard said “Birmingham and Liverpool have two fantastic sets of plans and either city would stage a Games to remember for athletes and spectators alike.”
“There is still a huge amount of work to be done by both Government and the cities themselves but what we have seen so far promises some very exciting times ahead.”
“What we are proposing is a win-win-win,” Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said of the news, referring to the value the bid offers to Liverpool, the Government and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
“This is fantastic news for the entire city, region and our bid partner Manchester,” Liverpool 2022 Chair Brian Barwick said, adding “we are now in the home stretch in the race to persuade Government that our Liverpool-Manchester partnership will be ground-breaking for the Commonwealth Games, while also financially sound and good for the UK.”
“Our plan is to be responsible, inspirational, and transformational because that is the Liverpool way and I’m confident we will deliver on all these fronts if granted the great honour of hosting these Games.”
The bids are now expected to “undertake further, more detailed work on the cost, practicability and delivery of their plans,” according to a government statement before they submit final documents to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in August.
— Liverpool 2022 (@LiverpoolCG22) July 28, 2017
The updated plans are expected to address specific criticisms made by the assessment panel to both projects.
The panel is then scheduled to recommend a candidate city to government officials in September before they decide whether to forward a bid to the International stage where it could face competition from Victoria in Canada, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and possibly a city in Australia. The CGF said they will choose a winner in the fall.
Sport Minister Tracey Crouch said “It is right that a proper and rigorous assessment is carried out before we decide if a formal bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games is submitted.”
“I’ve been encouraged by the commitment and enthusiasm that both Birmingham and Liverpool have demonstrated so far in the process but it will be crucial that their final plans demonstrate good value for money, how they would leave a lasting legacy and showcase the best of Britain.”
Both Birmingham and Liverpool had begun to prepare bids for the 2026 edition of the Games before Durban in South Africa, having been elected to host the 2022 Games unopposed in 2015, was stripped of those Games for failing to meet financial milestones. The British cities both adjusted plans for 2022 instead.
Gold Coast in Australia is set to host the 2018 Games that will be opened April 4 by Prince Charles.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.