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Birmingham joins 2026 Commonwealth Games bidding

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Hosting the Commonwealth Games could generate hundreds of millions of pounds for the wider region, it has been claimed

Birmingham is joining the bidding to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

City council leader John Clancy said Birmingham was a “fantastic sporting city”, hosting major events including The Ashes and the Rugby World Cup.

The council has launched a feasibility study and claimed the event could generate more than £390m for the region.

The mayor of Liverpool revealed in August that they are also planning a bid.

Other places expected to be in the running include Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea and Edmonton in Canada.

‘Warm, welcoming and friendly’

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The Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr has hosted numerous high-profile athletics championships

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Villa Park has been home to Football League founder members Aston Villa since 1897. It has also hosted more FA Cup semi-finals than any other stadium, was the first ground to host the England national team in three different centuries and hosted two games at the 2015 Rugby World Cup

It is 31 years since the city’s memorably unpersuasive attempt to host the Summer Olympics of 1992 failed to have the desired effect, but those behind the Commonwealth bid say the city is ready to play host this time.

Mr Clancy said: “We have proven ourselves to be warm, welcoming and friendly hosts to a number of international events in recent years.

“In addition to the huge economic impact, these events showcase the very best of our city and wider region to the world.”

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The Edgbaston Priory Club hosts the Aegon Classic Birmingham tennis tournament every year

Venues that could be used to host events include Villa Park, the Alexander Stadium, Edgbaston Cricket Ground, the NEC and the Genting Arena.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley, said: “Birmingham is a city with a fantastic sporting pedigree.

“The Commonwealth Games transformed Manchester in 2002 and did the same for Glasgow in 2014, so it’s no surprise that Birmingham is interested in hosting the Games in 2026.”

She added that the government looked forward to sharing its “knowledge and expertise” with Birmingham and any other interested cities to help them develop “credible and realistic” bids.

Bob Sleigh, chairman of the West Midlands Combined Authority, which is backing Birmingham’s bid, said other “incredible” facilities in the region could also be used, such as West Bromwich Albion’s Hawthorns stadium and Coventry City’s Ricoh Arena.

Candidates have to notify their intention to bid by March 2018, and the winner will be announced in November 2019.


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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-37506981