Liverpool's 2022 Commonwealth Games Bid To Feature New Everton Stadium
Liverpool's bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games "will include Premier League club Everton's planned new stadium, which will feature a temporary, removable athletics track," according to Simon Evans of REUTERS. Liverpool unveiled its bid on Friday saying that the opening ceremony and rugby sevens would be held at Liverpool's Anfield Stadium. The initial bid plan, submitted on Friday, "also includes a link-up with neighboring Manchester," which would host Twenty20 cricket at Old Trafford cricket ground and cycling at the Manchester Velodrome. Most of the Games will be held at existing venues but a new 50m swimming pool "will be built within the city center dock system, while triple jump, long jump and pole vault are proposed to be held on the dockside by Mann Island in 'City Games' style." The new Everton stadium, at Bramley-Moore Dock, close to the city center, "would host athletics events and would also have the Athletes Village close by." Another English city, Birmingham, is also bidding for '22 along with Victoria in western Canada. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, said that "it is interested in hosting the event, along with several Australian venues" (REUTERS, 6/16). The PA reported the U.K. government is expected to decide whether Liverpool or Birmingham will become its candidate city in September, and the Commonwealth Games Federation "will then decide between the British choice and bidders from further afield by the end of the year." It was confirmed that Everton's new ground will "incorporate a temporary athletics track for use" in '22, though Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson is "confident that such a provisional installation would not disrupt the club's plans for its new home." He said, "First and foremost, it will be a football stadium. It will be developed as a football stadium. What we will do is drop in a running track and then remove the running track so it retains its atmospheric face as a football stadium, which Evertonians want, which I want, which the football club want" (PA, 6/17). In Manchester, Chris Slater reported Liverpool’s £1B ($1.3B) bid, which organizers said "will create 12,000 jobs," will be based around the development of the Bramley-Moore Dock area of the city. Liverpool 2022 Bid Chair Brian Barwick said, "We are also being transformational in how we present sports such as athletics, by bringing some of the jumping events to spectacular locations in our docks" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 6/16).
NATIVE TOUCH: In Liverpool, Alistair Houghton reported the Liverpool native who planned London's 2012 Olympic park is "now planning Liverpool's Commonwealth Games venues." Architect Kevin Owens, from Fazakerley, has been planning where the venues for the 2022 Liverpool games will be "if the city is successful in its bid." Owens was design principal "on the massively successful London games." He designed the masterplan for the 2012 Olympic park, where venues included the Olympic Stadium, the London Aquatics Centre and the "Pringle" velodrome. He said, "It was immense. It was the proudest moment of my career." But now he is "excited at what a Liverpool Commonwealth Games could bring." He said, "It's great to be playing back at home" (LIVERPOOL ECHO, 6/17).