The city of Birmingham is to place The NEC at the centre of its bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The 200,000sqm NEC site, which includes the Genting Arena, would house a range of sports including boxing, judo, table tennis, freestyle wrtestling and badminton.
The Barclaycard Arena, also part of the NEC Group, would see artistic and rythmic gymnastic, with seating for 9,000 spectators.
Phil Mead, managing director NEC Group Arenas and member of the Birmingham 2022 Steering Group, commented:
“The NEC Group is one of the world’s leading venue operators and has been creating unforgettable live experiences for over forty years.
“Over that period, we have proven our ability to deliver by hosting over sixty international sports events such as World and European Indoor Athletics Championships, Davis Cup tennis, Yonex All England Badminton Championships, European and World Gymnastics Championships, International Netball and World BMX Championships, but in all that time Birmingham has not had the chance to host a major multi-sport event. We believe the time is right now.
“We have a wealth of fantastic venues ready and able to deliver world-class events for 2022 including the NEC, Genting Arena and Barclaycard Arena and we are currently gearing up to host the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in 2018 which further demonstrates our credibility and capability.
“We have also invested significantly into our venues in recent years to set us apart from our competitors. We saw at the London 2012 Olympics how a major indoor venue could successfully host multiple sports events and how the public and athletes thrived on the opportunity to experience so many sports in close proximity with a compact Games proposition. We can deliver this and more and believe Birmingham is the only city that can deliver this for 2022. Not only that, but with exciting development across the city and our own ambitious plans to add new physical assets and leisure content which will build on the opening of Resorts World Birmingham on the NEC site, there will be even more on offer for visitors.”
Ian Ward, deputy leader Birmingham City Council and chair, Birmingham Commonwealth Games Steering Group, added: “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 pr cent 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.”