The Commonwealth Games 2022 will take place in Birmingham, UK, from July 28 to August 8.
Birmingham, the third largest metro in the UK located in the West Midlands region, is the designated host city for the quadrennial showpiece this year.
However, the 280 medal events in 20 different sports at the 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place at 15 venues located in nine different cities and towns across the UK. These include Birmingham, London, Cannock Chase, Coventry, Royal Leamington Spa, Sandwell, Solihull, Warwick and Wolverhampton.
Seven of the sites are in Birmingham while the rest, except one, are also in the West Midlands region of the UK. Lee Valley VeloPark in the south-east city of London, which will host the cycle track events, is the only exception.
Here is an overview:
Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Venues
Alexander Stadium – Birmingham
Established in 1976, Alexander Stadium in the Birmingham suburb of Perry Barr is the main venue for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. It has recently been refurbished to serve this function and will also host the Birmingham Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies in addition to athletics and para-athletics events.
Birmingham Arena – Birmingham
The main indoor arena for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Arena Birmingham, located near the city centre, is a versatile venue that has already hosted major events like the World Badminton Championships, World Indoor Athletics Championships and the All England Open, among others. During CWG 2022, Arena Birmingham, which opened in 1991, will host gymnasts, with artistic and rhythmic gymnastics events scheduled in state-of-the-art facilities.
Edgbaston Ground – Birmingham
Events: Cricket (women’s T20I)
With cricket returning to the Commonwealth Games program after 24 years in the form of the Women’s T20Is, the iconic Edgbaston Cricket Ground will host all matches. With a rich history dating back to 1882, Edgbaston Cricket Stadium has been a regular venue for international cricket and has been the scene of some historic cricketing exploits including Brian Lara’s world record 501 unreleased in 1994 , while playing for Warwickshire against Durham. It is still the highest scorer in first class cricket.
Edgbaston Cricket Ground also hosted the first Women’s Cricket World Cup Final in 1973.
Sutton Park – Birmingham
One of the UK’s largest city parks, Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield, around 10km north of Birmingham city centre, will host the 2022 CWG triathlon events. With its lush nature reserve, seven lakes , including the 28 acre Powell’s Pool and local trails and roads, Sutton Park has the perfect topography for triathlons.
University of Birmingham – Birmingham
Events: Hockey, squash
The University of Birmingham campus includes two international standard hockey pitches built in 2017 and six squash courts located in the state-of-the-art Sports and Fitness Center unveiled the same year. All hockey and squash matches will be played here.
In addition, the University of Birmingham campus will also be the main Athletes’ Villagethe facility that will house most of the athletes competing at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Events: 3×3 basketball, beach volleyball, marathon (start)
Located in the Southside area, Smithfield was the site of Birmingham’s famous wholesale market until 2018. With commercial activities moved to the newly built Hub in Witton, the open space has been transformed into a temporary arena to house the 3×3 basketball and beach volleyball events during the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The marathon and wheelchair marathon events will also start from Smithfield.
Victoria Square – Birmingham
Events: Marathon (arrival)
Often considered the heart of Birmingham, Victoria Square is a pedestrianized square and the city’s tourist center surrounded by prominent buildings like the Town Hall and Council House. This will be the end point of the 2022 CWG Marathon events.
Cannock Chase Forest – Cannock Chase District
Events: Cycling (MTB)
North of bustling Birmingham, the scenic Cannock Chase Forest in Birches Valley, Rugeley will host the mountain bike event during the Birmingham Games. A popular destination for cyclists, both amateurs and professionals, the Cannock Chase Forest is also a popular destination for adventure sports junkies and long-distance runners.
Coventry Stadium and Arena – Coventry
Events: 7-a-side rugby, judo, wrestling
Home to famous English football club Coventry City FC, former FA Cup champions and Premiership Rugby team Wasps, the iconic Coventry stadium will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games rugby sevens competition. Opened in 2005 , Coventry Stadium hosted 12 football matches during the London 2012 Olympics.
The adjoining facilities of the Coventry Arena, home to Coventry Stadium, will be the proving ground for wrestlers and judokas at the Birmingham Games. The Coventry Arena was previously called the Ricoh Arena.
Sandwell Aquatic Center – Sandwell
Events: Aquatic (swimming and diving)
Built exclusively for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Sandwell Aquatics Center in the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell is an indoor facility with an Olympic-size swimming pool and a 10m diving board overlooking a 25m pool. The state-of-the-art facility will be used to host the aquatics events, swimming and diving, during CWG 2022.
National Exhibition Center – Solihull
Events: Netball, weightlifting/powerlifting, table tennis, boxing, badminton
The UK’s largest exhibition venue, the National Exhibition Center in Solihull, a town neighboring Birmingham, will be the busiest during the 2022 Commonwealth Games with five different sports scheduled at the venue.
Inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II in 1976, the NEC will host weightlifting/powerlifting (Hall 1), table tennis (Hall 3), boxing (Hall 4) and badminton (Hall 5). The multi-purpose main indoor area, known as the NEC Arena or Resorts World Arena, located inside the National Exhibition Center (NEC), meanwhile, will be the destination for netball fans.
Interestingly, the NEC Arena doubles as a music concert venue and it opened in 1980 with a performance by popular British rock band Queen, which featured the legendary Freddie Mercury.
West Park – Wolverhampton
Events: Cycling (time trial)
The pride and joy of Wolverhampton, West Park, will host the 2022 CWG Time Trial events for men and women. Founded in 1881, the 48-acre West Park is often dubbed a fine example of a traditional Victorian park in the UK. The home ground of Premier League football team Wolverhampton Wanderers, the Molineux Stadium, is a stone’s throw from West Park.
Myton Fields – Warwick
Events: Cycling (road racing)
The road cycle racing events on August 7, the penultimate day, will take place at Myton Fields in Warwick. Around 160 of the world’s best cyclists will gather for the events.
Victoria Park – Spa Royal Leamington
Events: lawn bowling
Established in 1899 to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, Victoria Park is located in Royal Leamington Spa, a spa town in Warwickshire. Originally a village named Leamington Priors, the area has gained popularity as a spa town due to the medicinal qualities of the area’s water.
Victoria Park is considered by many to be one of the best bowling greens in the UK and hosts events like the Bowls England National Championships every year. It also hosted the Women’s World Bowling Championships in 1996 and 2004 and the European Race Walking Cup in 2007.
Victoria Park is close to Warwick and in fact the route for the road cycling events also runs alongside Victoria Park.
Lee Valley VeloPark – London
Events: Cycling (track)
The Lee Valley VeloPark is the cycling hub at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London. Built for the 2012 London Olympics, the facility opened in 2011 and hosted the Summer Games cycling events.
After London 2012, the facility was opened to the public in 2014. The Lee Valley VeloPark has facilities for all four types of Olympic cycling, namely track, BMX, road and mountain. However, only the Velodrome will be used during the CWG 2022 track events.