The Commonwealth Games are coming to Birmingham this summer, marking the third time they have ever been held in England. In honour of our home city and the global sports stars we will be hosting, we have compiled the ultimate facts and figures guide ahead of the Birmingham 2022 games.
Read on for everything you need to know...
Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Facts and Statistics
At First Mats, we are extremely proud that our city is hosting such a momentous sporting event. Here’s everything you need to know about the Birmingham games:
Updated: 8th August 2022 - 17:00 GMT
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- The games will run from the 28th of July until the 8th of August, 2022
- The games have been delayed by one day from their original scheduled dates, due to a conflict with the UEFA Women's European Championships, and the closing days of the World Athletics Championships
Athletes and Events
- 72 countries are expected to participate
- More than 5000 athletes are expected to compete
- There will be 283 different medal events
- For the first time in a global, multi-sport event, there are more women's events than men's 
- The Birmingham games is anticipated to have the most events for women and disabled athletes in the history of the games
- 2022 will be the first games to include Esports, albeit as a limited pilot with separate branding and medals
The 2022 edition of the Commonwealth Games will feature 283 different medal events across a wide range of disciplines, including popular track and field events, weightlifting and martial arts such as Boxing and Judo.
|Sport Category||Number of Events|
|Aquatics & Diving||66|
|Raquet / Bat Sports||25|
|Weightlifting & Powerlifting||20|
|Netball & Basketball||5|
Number of Athletes Competing
Cost of Hosting the Games
£72 million has been spent over two years to update and improve the flagship Alexander Stadium, which will host the popular athletics events
A new state-of-the-art aquatics centre has been built in Sandwell for the games, costing £73 million
The 2022 games will be the most expensive sporting event in the UK since the London Olympics, at an expected £778 million (the Olympics cost £8.8 billion!)
Although £778 million might sound like a lot of money to host a multi-sport event, it's far less than the £8.6 billion spent on the 2010 games in Dehli and the £8.8 billion cost of the 2012 London Olympics.
The 2022 Commonwealth games will be held across 15 venues in and around the city of Birmingham, including a new £73 million aquatics centre in Sandwell.
- The extensively updated Alexander Stadium will host the track and field athletics events
- The NEC will showcase the boxing, judo, table tennis, weightlifting and para powerlifting events
- Badminton will be contested at the NEC Arena
- Artistic and rhythmic gymnastics will take place at Arena Birmingham
- The University of Birmingham will host the squash and hockey on new courts and pitches
- Athletes will stay at the University of Birmingham, the University of Warwick, and the NEC hotel
- New cycling facilities have recently been opens in the Cannock Chase forest, which will be used for the mountain bike competition in the games
- The total investment in the tracks at Cannock Chase is around £900,000
Supporting events around the city include; A Town Ringed by Blossom (floral displays throughout the city), Ceremony: Pop Comes to Campus (a musical history presented by the University of Birmingham), and People, Place and Sport (a celebration of local communities and sport, at various locations)
Security and Volunteers
- Around 3,000 police will secure the games: 1,000 from West Midlands Police, and 2,000 from other UK forces
- Around 13,000 volunteers will ensure the smooth running of the games
Historical numbers of volunteers at the commonwealth games are:
Watching the Birmingham Commonwealth Games
The opening ceremony for the games takes place on Thursday the 28th of July, with the closing ceremony on the 8th of August.
In between, some key dates to look out for are the men’s and women’s 100 metre final, both taking place on Wednesday the 3rd of August, the final bouts in all weight classes for both sexes in boxing on Sunday the 7th of August, and the same date for the finals in the 4 x 100 metre relay.
You can buy tickets to watch any of the events live and in person at https://www.birmingham2022.com/tickets although tickets are running out for some events.
On the television, you can watch full coverage of the Commonwealth Games, 2022, on BBC channels, the BBC iPlayer, and BBC online.
Economic Impact and Legacy
Over 1 million spectator tickets are expected to be sold in total
The economic impact of Birmingham hosting the games has been estimated at more than £1 billion in increased business opportunities, tourism, infrastructure improvements and other factors.
The team behind Birmingham 2022 is hoping to make the games carbon neutral. Initiatives include:
- Free public transport
- No waste sent to landfill – instead recycling will be prioritized
- 2022 acres of forest planted – planting has already begun in Walsall
- 72 urban tiny forests (one for each participating nation) planting around the West Midlands
- Each tiny forest will house 600 densely planted trees, and they have already started to be planted – there is one in Erdington at Spring Lane Playing Fields
The new Sandwell Aquatics Centre will be open to the public in May 2023
After Birmingham, the games will return to Australia for the first multi-city event, to be held across the state of Victoria.
Facts About Birmingham
Birmingham is the second largest city in the United Kingdom, with over 1.2 million people living in the city area, and more than double that in the surrounding urban area. While the debate rages on whether Birmingham or Manchester is the ‘Second City’ (an unofficial title), the fact is that Birmingham has twice as many residents, and a much greater economic impact than our northern counterpart. Hosting the games this year should only cement the city's legacy internationally.
Here are some fast facts that even a lot of born and bred Brummie’s don’t know – great for making small talk between events when the games are in full swing.
Economy and Population
- The total population of Birmingham, including the city, urban area and broader metropolitan zone is over 4.3 million
- The greater metropolitan zone covers an area of 598 square kilometres, with the city area covering 267 square kilometres
- The average age of Birmingham residents in 2018 was 32.6, making the city one of the youngest in the U.K.
Culture and Tourism
- Birmingham has the largest regional public library in all of Europe (it is also the largest public space devoted to cultural pursuits)
- 40% of all jewellery made in the United Kingdom is manufactured in the famous Jewellery Quarter
- The Hippodrome is the busiest theatre in the United Kingdom, eclipsing even London’s West End locations
- There are 35 miles of canals in Birmingham, which is more than in Venice (okay, we know most people know this one...)
- Birmingham has 4 Michelin-starred restaurants which is more than anywhere else in the UK outside of London.
Sport and Leisure
- Now more famous for cricket, the game of lawn tennis was invented in Edgbaston in 1859
Traveling to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games
Travelling to the games gives you a number of options:
Birmingham New Street Station is a central railway hub, and sits right in the centre of the city
Other stations to be familiar with include the Jewellery Quarter station, Snow Hill station, Moor Street, and Five Ways station
Motorways that serve the city include the M6, M5, M42, and A38(M)
Birmingham Airport sits just outside the city, and is a short train, bus or car trip from some of the key venues
Eating in Birmingham
If you are visiting the city for the Commonwealth games, you will need to eat. Alongside the usual high street favourites, you can find a lot of great places to eat throughout the city.
There are more than 2200 restaurants in and around Birmingham, with a huge variety of cuisines represented
The ‘Balti Triangle’ was once home to almost fifty Balti houses in a very small are to the south of the city centre – it’s still a great place to get this signature dish
There are 11 Michelin starred restaurants dotted around if you would rather something a little more luxury
The Clean Air Zone
As part of the city’s dedication to reducing emissions, there is a Clean Air Zone that covers a large portion of the city centre. Driving in this area means that you will need to pay a premium, unless your vehicle meets rigorous emissions standards – the current fee is £8 per day
As things stand, the only major venue located within the clean air zone is Arena Birmingham
Facts about the Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games are a global sporting phenomenon, with representatives from over 70 countries expected to participate, and an anticipated international audience in excess of 1.5 billion. The games take place every four years, usually two years after the Summer Olympic games (except when one or the other is delayed or cancelled by global events) and consist of a combination of the sporting events you would expect to see at the Olympics and the games popular across commonwealth countries – like lawn bowls and cricket, for example.
Origins and History
- The first Commonwealth Games, then known as the British Empire Games, were held in 1930
- The last games were held in April of 2018 in Australia’s Gold Coast
- The games have taken place every four years since 1930, except 1942 and 1946 – making this the 22nd games
- The games are also known as ‘The Friendly Games’, due to the fact that up until 1998 all of the events were single competition rather than team endeavours
- 1998 saw the inclusion of team games, including netball, cricket, hockey and rugby 7s
- The official patron of the Commonwealth Games is Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II
- There are 71 countries eligible to play in the commonwealth games
- Only 6 of the eligible countries have competed in every instance of the games: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales
- Of those 6 countries, only 4 have won at least one gold medal in every games: Australia, Canada, England and New Zealand
- The combined, all-time medal table reads as Australia in first place, England in second, and Canada in third
- The oldest person to compete at the games was 79-year-old shooter Robert Pitcairn
- The youngest? Anna Hursey was 11 when she represented Wales in doubles table tennis
-  https://www.birmingham2022.com/news/2500026/birmingham-2022-will-be-the-first-global-multi-sport-event-to-award-more-medals-to-women
-  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2022_Commonwealth_Games
-  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Commonwealth_Games#Costs
-  https://www.birmingham2022.com/venues
-  https://planetradio.co.uk/free/local/news/thousands-of-police-for-birmingham-commonwealth-games/
-  https://pushpromotions.co.uk/10-fun-facts-about-the-birmingham-2022-commonwealth-games/
-  https://taxcare.org.uk/post-brixit-business-birmingham-2022/
-  https://www.sandwell.gov.uk/aquaticscentre
-  https://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/birmingham-population
-  https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/officially-how-young-city-birmingham-15390252
-  https://www.countrylife.co.uk/out-and-about/sporting-country-pursuits/the-true-home-of-tennis-41091
-  https://www.teamscotland.scot/commonwealth-games/history-of-the-commonwealth-games/
-  https://thecgf.com/about