Event showcases region as sport and events hosting leader

A sports economy event has helped to showcase the region's status as a host for major national and global events.

Councillor Ian Ward, left, leader of Birmingham City Council, and Tom Tate, Mayor of Gold Coast talk about sport and business futures
Councillor Ian Ward, left, leader of Birmingham City Council, and Tom Tate, Mayor of Gold Coast talk about sport and business futures

More than 250 delegates from governing bodies, global associations and professional sporting organisations came together at the day, held at the University of Birmingham’s Exchange building on August 4.

Delegates gathered to learn more about the West Midlands’ ambition and capability to bring further high-profile international sporting events to the region.

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, leader of Birmingham City Council Ian Ward and Trudy Lindblade, CEO of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.

Themes at the sports economy day included building sustainable sporting facilities for a long-term future, innovative fan engagement, international best practice and strengthening and enduring international relationships.

The West Midlands Major Events Delivery Plan, led by the Business and Tourism Programme (BATP) and complementing Birmingham City Council’s roadmap to secure more sporting events, seeks to attract a minimum of eight major international events between 2022 and 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 1.35 million 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.

“We are rising to the occasion and changing perceptions of Birmingham as a truly global sporting city.

"Having seen the true power of major sporting events this week, we believe that this is just the beginning of showing the world what we can achieve.

"The Games will act as a fantastic springboard for attracting a new wave of top-class international sport to the city and region, offering a great boost to our economy and local people.”

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