Birmingham Bidding To Host 2026 Commonwealth Games
Birmingham is bidding to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, which it "hopes could result" in a £390M ($504M) economic windfall, according to the PA. Civic leaders said that the sporting event would be able to "showcase the very best" of the city and deliver a "huge economic impact" to the West Midlands. Launching the official bid on Friday, the city "highlighted the possible financial legacy of hosting the games" -- creating thousands of new jobs, benefiting local suppliers, and "boosting existing transport and housing plans." It said that the Glasgow Games in '14 had generated £740M for the Scottish economy and brought in 690,000 more visitors. The Birmingham bid’s backers, which include councils and businesses, said that the city "had a track record of hosting big international sporting events at existing venues, such as Villa Park, Edgbaston cricket ground and the Alexander stadium." It could also "use existing venues outside Birmingham," including the West Bromwich Albion ground and Coventry’s Ricoh arena (PA, 9/30). The BBC reported the mayor of Liverpool revealed in August that the city is "also planning a bid." Culture, Media & Sport Secretary of State Karen Bradley said, "Birmingham is a city with a fantastic sporting pedigree." She added 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. Candidates have to notify their intention to bid by March '18, and the winner will be announced in Nov. '19 (BBC, 9/30).