Birmingham has been officially announced as the host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, but London will host the Games’ track cycling events because Birmingham lacks an indoor velodrome.
Initially it was thought that the new Derby Arena would be able to host the track events given its proximity to Birmingham, but the venue only has capacity for 1600 spectators – short of the 4000 capacity required, reports the Derby Telegraph.
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That left either the National Cycling Centre in Manchester or the Lee Valley Velodrome in London, with the latter looking the most likely option. Manchester hosted the Games in 2002, which was the last time England hosted the Games.
The Lee Valley Velodrome was built specifically for the 2012 Olympic Games, and is well established as an international-standard venue.
Ian Ward, who led Birmingham’s bid for the Games, confirmed that London rather than Derby or Manchester would host the track cycling events on Thursday.
“The hard work begins now and we all have just four-and-a-half years to deliver an unforgettable Games that will shape the future of our city, our region and our people,” said Ward in a statement. “Thank you for backing Birmingham’s bid.”
The Commonwealth Games includes an extensive schedule of track cycling events – more than those included in the Olympic Games.
The region around Birmingham will still host the road cycling events, comprising men’s and women’s road races and individual time trials, and the cross-country mountain bike event. Coventry and Warwickshire are reportedly in talks to host the road cycling events, according to the Coventry Telegraph.
The whole Games will cost in the region of £750million to host. Birmingham plans to build Britain’s largest permanent athletics stadium, and four indoor arenas for other sports – but no velodrome.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games are provisionally scheduled to take place between July 27 and August 7, 2022.
Glasgow hosted the last Commonwealth Games in 2014, with the 2018 Games taking place on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.