Sports

Birmingham to host Commonwealth Games in 2022

The central English city of Birmingham was named the replacement host for the Commonwealth Games in 2022 on Thursday.

City chosen as replacement for financially strapped Durban, South Africa

Commonwealth Games Federation president Louise Martin reacts as the central English city of Birmingham was picked Thursday as the replacement host for 2022, nine months after Durban was stripped of the event. (Aaron Chown/Associated Press)

English city Birmingham was picked Thursday as the replacement host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, nine months after the South African city of Durban was stripped of the multi-sport event because of financial difficulties.

Birmingham was the only city to submit a bid by the Commonwealth Games Federation's deadline of the end of September.

Weeks earlier, it beat Liverpool in a head-to-head contest for British government backing for the event, which is for countries associated with the former British empire.

"With extensive experience in the UK of hosting successful major events the CGF looks forward to a truly spectacular games that delivers not only for the 2.4 billion citizens across the Commonwealth but the wider world, too," CGF president Louise Martin said at a news conference in Birmingham.

The Commonwealth Games were last in Britain in 2014 when it was held in Glasgow. Before that, Manchester hosted in 2002.

Birmingham had to wait three months before being awarded the games, with the CGF seeking further guarantees from the city and the government, which is financing 75 per cent of the estimated budget of $1 billion US.

Many of the venues are already in place. The Alexander Stadium, which will be expanded to host the track and field events and ceremonies, already stages Diamond League meets.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games were originally given to Durban in 2015, but they were taken off the South African city mainly because the country's government could not provide financial guarantees. Other commitments Durban made when it won the bid had also not been met nearly two years later.

Gold Coast, Australia, will host the next Commonwealth Games in 2018.

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