England

West Midlands and Liverpool mayors in 2022 Commonwealth Games battle

Artist impression of 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham Image copyright Craig Holmes
Image caption Basketball would be played in Victoria Square under Birmingham's proposals

Rival mayors have joined battle as the cities of Birmingham and Liverpool bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said he was confident Birmingham had put in a "first-class bid".

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said its bid, with many events on the famous waterfront, had the "wow factor".

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is expected to announce soon who will be its UK candidate.

The cities are bidding for the Games after Durban, South Africa, was stripped of the event, with the Commonwealth Games Federation saying it did not meet its criteria.

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Mr Street said the West Midlands region had "come together brilliantly" and playing host would boost its "profile and pride".

"We are going into these last few days having done all that we can," he said.

Image copyright Liverpool City Council
Image caption A "floating pool" built on the water near Albert Dock is part of Liverpool's bid
Image copyright Birmingham City Council
Image caption A refurbished Alexander Stadium would be "pivotal" to the games in Birmingham, said the city council

Birmingham City Council said it had put forward "22 reasons" why it should be chosen, including the city's expertise in hosting world-class sports, events and cultural festivals.

However, Mr Anderson said Liverpool's track record for putting on major events was "second to none".

He said Liverpool's bid was "truly transformational, accelerating up to £1bn of planned investments and breathing new life into the north Liverpool docks".

Liverpool's plan will see a temporary athletics track put into Everton's proposed new stadium, while Birmingham would refurbish Alexander Stadium, the home of the national athletics championships.

Canada and Malaysia are among other countries expected to put bids to the federation. which is set make a decision by the end of the year.

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