Birmingham 2022 to be ‘a seminal moment in Commonwealth Games history’
Birmingham 2022 will take the Commonwealth Games to the next level, according to the organisation’s chief executive David Grevemberg.
Women’s Twenty20 cricket, beach volleyball and para table tennis were added to the 2022 Commonwealth Games programme on Tuesday, ensuring Birmingham will host the first major multi-sport event to feature more women’s medal events than men’s.
There will be 135 medals available for women and 133 for men, and Birmingham 2022 will also set a new Games record of eight para sports.
“What we started in 2015 was the creation of a new strategic vision for the organisation,” Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Grevemberg told PA.
“It was much broader than just running the Games every four years. What we essentially did was move from a membership designation movement that just focused on a Games every four years to a movement that operates every day.
“That strategic plan was called ‘Transformation 2022’ and we’re really confident that Birmingham is going to be a seminal moment in the history of the Commonwealth Games.
“We are now transforming to our launchpad and 2022 is going to take this movement to the next level.”
The 71 Commonwealth Games Associations voted in favour of adding the three sports for the competition, taking the number in Birmingham to 19.
Women’s T20 cricket will be staged at Edgbaston, where eight teams will compete for gold.
Men’s cricket debuted at the 1998 Commonwealth Games at Kuala Lumpur, but will not be present in Birmingham because of the congested nature of the international calendar.
Grevemberg said: “Women’s T20 cricket is a nice match for us with the growing commercialisation of the sport.
“The T20 World Cup in 2015 was a huge success, with a sold-out final at Lord’s as well as some amazing digital stats and general viewership.
“Beach volleyball made its debut on the Gold Coast in 2018 and gives small nations and territories a fighting chance to participate in team sport.
“It is not cost prohibitive and we also have some of the best beach volleyball teams in the world.
“The para sports programme has also been enhanced and that’s great to see as well.”
The 2022 Commonwealth Games – the most expensive sports event Britain has hosted since the London 2012 Olympics – will not come cheap at an overall cost of £778million.
Birmingham stepped in after Durban in South Africa failed to meet the financial criteria of staging an event that is expected to host 4,500 athletes.
But Grevemberg says the CGF has put a new partnership model in place to prevent a repeat of a host city having to withdraw from staging the Games.
“We are bringing forward those awarding processes,” he said. “We want a long-term trajectory so we can have commercial partnerships and promote with private, public and third sector partners.
“Our model has a dialogue stage, feasibility assessment, formal candidature, evaluation and award.
“We are trying to bring down the cost of bidding and create more value in the bidding process through closer consultation.”
Adelaide is the current favourite to stage the 2026 Commonwealth Games, with the decision to be made next year.
Hamilton staged the first Commonwealth Games in 1930, and the Canadian city is in the dialogue phase of becoming the 2030 host.
But other cities have expressed an interest in hosting the Centennial Games, with the decision expected in 2021.