Sports consultancy Origin Sport Group is setting up a feasibility study considering Birmingham’s ability to bid for and host the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Three members of the assigned study team worked on the London 2012 Olympic Games and other global sporting events.
Sir Keith Mills was CEO of London 2012 and more recently was Chairman for the 2014 Invictus Games. He has worked on Commonwealth Games bids and other projects for the city of Birmingham.
Alan Pascoe, London 2012 Vice Chair and Debbie Jevans, the London 2012 Director of Sport are also on the team.
The study reportedly will cost up to 170,000 pounds, of which 50,000 pounds has already been covered by the business investment group Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP.
The group will check sporting facilities and infrastructure, including Alexander Stadium, the NEC and NIA and Villa Park, to see what is missing and what work would be required, an will also check on new facilities.
They will also tell the city’s business, council and sports bosses how much the Games would cost to see whether a bid is affordable.
Jevans heads the group, and said “we were extremely pleased to be selected from such a competitive tender process.”
“We will bring our varied and extensive bid experience to deliver a comprehensive feasibility assessment of Birmingham’s credentials as a host for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
“We look forward to working closely with Birmingham City Council and its key stakeholders.”
Council deputy leader Ian Ward said “Origin Sports Group has a first-class track record in the preparation of feasibility studies and sports event organization, so it is a natural choice to become one of our partners at the start of the journey we hope will deliver the Commonwealth Games in 2026.”
He added, “through the feasibility study we’ll know what is needed to make the Games work and become a success.”
If Birmingham moves forward it could face competition from Edmonton in Canada, Auckland in New Zealand and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
Edmonton was forced to drop out of the 2022 bid when dropping oil prices resulted in municipal budget shifts, leaving Durban in South Africa as the only candidate.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games are being organized in Gold Coast, Australia.
The Commonwealth Games Federation will elect the host city in 2019.