The team behind the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games bid team has announced three further venues in its plans.
The new-build Sandwell Aquatics Centre (below) will host swimming, para swimming and diving; the Ericsson Indoor Arena, at the Ricoh Arena (above), home to Wasps Netball (bottom), will host netball; and soccer stadium Villa Park will host rugby 7s.
Plans for the Aquatics Centre are already underway, following a public consultation and cabinet report by Sandwell Council in Spring 2017, which identified the need for competitive swimming facilities within the borough as a priority. The plans for the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre align with national sports strategies.
Initially proposed as a leisure complex comprising a 50m pool and community leisure facilities, a Commonwealth Games in the region would see the Sandwell Aquatics Centre plans upgraded to include a warm-up pool and competition diving pool with a moveable floor.
Diving is an optional sport within the Commonwealth Games sports roster but has been included by the 2022 bid in recognition of the British public’s passion for the sport and the country’s potential to win medals.
The proposed diving pool will enhance the legacy of the Sandwell Aquatics Centre to the local community, as the moveable floor provides flexibility around the use of the pool, catering for beginners and toddlers as a shallow pool, and the pool provides much needed elite training facilities for diving within the Black Country and West Midlands.
Less than 10 miles from the center of Birmingham, the Sandwell Aquatics Centre will extend the benefits of the Commonwealth Games bid across the wider region, providing opportunities to see world-class sport as well as volunteering, jobs and business opportunities to the local community. The Black Country LEP has already committed its support to the Birmingham bid.
Scheduled to be operational in 2021, permanent poolside spectator seating for up to 1,000 will also be a venue legacy, with a further 4,000 seats installed on a temporary basis during the Games.
The Ericsson Indoor Arena, part of the Ricoh Arena, is a 64,580ft² hall that is fully adaptable and includes high-density wi-fi using small cell technology, and is regularly transformed to accommodate exhibitions, conferences, sporting events and concerts. All Birmingham 2022 netball fixtures, including preliminaries and finals, will be held in the Arena, with 5,000 temporary seats installed for the Games.
Villa Park Stadium, the 42,700-seat home of English Football League club Aston Villa and a Rugby World Cup 2015 venue, will host Rugby 7s for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
July 19, 2017