Birmingham looks set to fly the flag for Britain’s hopes of hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games after beating Liverpool to become the Government’s preferred bid.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has backed the West Midlands city – currently gripped by a bin strike – over its Merseyside rival.
But the Government will have a final decision to make on whether to press ahead with a formal bid to the Commonwealth Games Federation for Birmingham to stage the event.
”The government will look at the final bid proposal from Birmingham and decide if a formal bid will be submitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation.“Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said: “While both bids were of high quality, Birmingham’s bid was considered particularly strong on its management of risk, its high quality existing venue infrastructure and its plans for a long-term sporting legacy.
Ms Crouch added: ”We need to be completely satisfied that the bid offers overall value for money from hosting the Games and that a strong economic and sporting legacy can be delivered from it.“
Birmingham and Liverpool were put through a rigorous two phase assessment process to test their ”hosting credentials“. Government officials made two site visits to each city.
Birmingham’s plans include transforming the Alexander Stadium, the headquarters of UK Athletics, into a 40,000-seat arena.
Liverpool 2022 officials said on social media the decision was ”disappointing“ but they were ”proud“ of the people of the city.
According to reports, the Liverpool team were confident they would secure Government backing right up until the decision was made.
‘They hate us and always have’
Liverpudlians turned to social media to vent their frustration.
Derek Hatton, the outspoken former deputy council leader, said: ”I really can’t believe that people are surprised. They hate us and always have. They are Tories, we are not it isn’t rocket science.“
But Joe Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool, applauded Birmingham’s success.