West Midlands outlines plan to host more sporting events
The West Midlands welcomed officials from international sporting federations to outline its ambitions to bring more international sporting events to the region.
More than 250 delegates from governing bodies, global associations and professional sporting organisations came together for a sports economy day, held at the University of Birmingham’s Exchange building.
Officials from federations including World Athletics, the International Boxing Association and the International Extreme Sports Festival heard from speakers including Commonwealth Games minister Nigel Huddleston MP (pictured), leader of Birmingham City Council Ian Ward and Trudy Lindsdale, CEO of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.
Themes at the sports economy day included:
1) Building sustainable sporting facilities
2) Innovative fan engagement
3) Sports events legacy
4) Strengthening and enduring international relationships
Major Event Delivery Plan
The West Midlands Major Events Delivery Plan, led by the Business and Tourism Programme, (BATP), seeks to attract a minimum of eight major international events between 2022-2027.
These include the right to host the European Athletics Championships in 2026 at the redeveloped Alexander Stadium, which is the centrepiece of Birmingham 2022 activity, hosting the opening and closing ceremonies and the athletics and para-athletics.
Councillor Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “With more than 1.35m tickets already sold, Birmingham 2022 is the most popular Commonwealth Games ever hosted in the UK. There is a real buzz around the West Midlands, with communities and businesses proudly embracing our time in the global sporting spotlight."
Last month, Birmingham entered the top 50 of the BCW 2022 Ranking of Sports Cities for the first time. It was listed at number 34, showing its strong association to sport.
Huddleston said: "With proven expertise ranging from the design of both permanent and temporary sporting facilities, UK companies have an outstanding track record of delivering the world’s most impressive and impactful sports competitions.
"Attracting and hosting major sporting events like the Commonwealth Games helps promote the West Midlands as a world-class tourism destination, boosting the local economy and having a real, positive societal impact."