Four indoor arenas in the Birmingham and Solihull area of the UK have been revealed as playing a pivotal role in delivering the city’s Commonwealth Games 2022 bid. These venues were selected following careful assessment of Commonwealth Games Federation guidelines regarding athletes’ needs, the technical specifications, seating capacity and Games logistics.
As part of the selection process, the bid committee looked closely at how to utilize Birmingham’s wealth of existing sports venues and facilities, ensuring connectivity and accessibility and maximizing spectator numbers.
Central to Birmingham’s bid is the internationally recognized NEC, situated on a site which also includes the Genting Arena. The NEC has excellent public transport links to central Birmingham and New Street Station and Birmingham International Airport, as well as being located in the heart of the UK’s motorway network.
The NEC has expertise in regularly hosting major events, including: Crufts, the UK’s largest consumer event with 160,000 visitors annually; Spring Fair, the UK’s largest trade show; Skills Show, the nation’s largest skills, apprenticeships and careers event; and Horse of the Year Show.
Three of the NEC’s largest halls will host boxing, judo, table tennis and freestyle wrestling. Halls 1, 4 and 5 have been selected to provide an optimal configuration, creating a compact multi-sport venue requiring minimal build requirements. The NEC, part of the NEC Group, brings with it almost 2,000 employees providing event management expertise, and robust back of house infrastructure and facilities.
The NEC Group has over 40 years’ experience, operating 750 major events and attracting seven million visitors each year. In addition to the NEC, the Group also manages the Genting Arena, which will host badminton, and the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham’s city center, which will host artistic and rhythmic gymnastics.
In addition, the city’s Symphony Hall will host weightlifting and para powerlifting. The four existing indoor venues alone will provide spectators with more than 500,000 opportunities to watch the action during Games time.
Ian Ward, Deputy Leader Birmingham City Council, and Chair, Birmingham Commonwealth Games Steering Group, said, “We have undertaken a rigorous process to identify the venues which meet the Games’ technical requirements and ensure we meet the athletes’ and spectators’ needs.
“These world-class indoor arenas are central to our bid and contribute to the 95% of Birmingham’s venues which are already available. With a heritage of delivering world-class international events these four venues will provide over 50 days of competition for fans to enjoy during the Birmingham 2022 Games.”
June 28, 2017