British cities Liverpool and Birmingham Friday met a deadline and submitted the documents required to bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The two cities are considered the leading candidates to host the Games after Durban in South Africa was stripped of the event earlier in the year due to missed financial milestones, and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) re-opened bidding. Both cities had set their sights on the 2026 edition of the Games but embraced the 2022 opportunity with a bit of a head start which has proved valuable in the shortened bidding time frame.
Ian Ward, Chair of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Bid Team said “This weekend marks a major milestone in our bid for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, having now submitted our secondary phase Bid City application.”
DCMS officials are set to visit the cities for final two-day inspections later this month then nominate a candidate for the international stage next month. There, the city could face bid from Victoria in Canada and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia – both cites that have admitted that they could require an extension to the September 30 deadline set by the CGF for the submission of plans and commitments.
On Wednesday Victoria officials presented a budget of almost (CDN) $1 billion, but cautioned that funding has yet to be approved by the provincial and federal governments.
International bidders will present to the CGF in October and the winning city is expected to be named in December.
The final document submission coincided with the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay in Britain and an appearance in Birmingham Friday to mark the upcoming Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
On Saturday the Baton traveled to Liverpool and arrived at Anfield pitch at half time during Liverpool FC’s Premier League match while a Liverpool 2022 banner was draped across the halfway line.
Liverpool 2022 bid chair, Brian Barwick said “What a fantastic sight to see our entire city celebrating the Commonwealth Games and all they have to offer. The appetite for the Games here is immense and today’s Baton Relay really serves to prove that.
“The Baton visiting Anfield, one of the planets most recognizable and watched sports arenas, was a special moment.”
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson added “Liverpool lives and breathes sport, and that really showed today with so many people coming out to show their support for both Gold Coast 2018 and Liverpool 2022.
“There is a real excitement in the city for the Commonwealth Games and it was great to show this off today.”
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.