Express & Star

Commonwealth Games: What to see where - plus how to do it for free

The Commonwealth Games is becoming one of the hottest tickets in town, with many events beginning to sell out.

Last updated

More than 1.2 million tickets have been sold for 19 sports, including para-sports, spread across 15 venues in Birmingham and out across the Black Country and into Warwickshire, with track cycling taking place at the Lee Valley VeloPark in the Olympic Park in London.

The city of Birmingham will have seven venues hosting eight sports, starting with the opening ceremony at Alexander Stadium, a stadium which will also host the closing ceremony and the athletics and para-athletics programme.

The Utilita Arena, named as Arena Birmingham for the Games, will host gymnastics, while Edgbaston Cricket Ground will play host to some of the best women cricketers in the world as it hosts the T20 cricket.

There will be a purpose-built temporary stadium on Smithfield in Birmingham city centre, hosting 3x3 basketball, 3x3 wheelchair basketball and beach volleyball, and Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield will be the venue for the triathlon.

Birmingham University will open up its facilities to hockey and squash competitions, and Victoria Square in Birmingham city centre will welcome the runners for the marathon.

Meanwhile, seven other venues will be utilised outside the host city as the region opens up to the world.

Cannock Chase Forest will host the mountain biking events, while Wolverhampton and Dudley will play host to some of the best time trialists in the world as it hosts the cycling time trial, and the cycling road race will be hosted at St Nicholas' Park in Warwick.

A brand new, purpose-built facility in Smethwick will have the most medal events, with 60 events in diving and swimming taking place at the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

The National Exhibition Centre will be the busiest venue during the games, hosting weightlifting and para-weightlifting in Hall 1, table tennis and para-table tennis in Hall 3, boxing in Hall 4, badminton in Hall 5 and netball in the NEC Arena.

Finally, the Coventry Arena will host the rugby sevens, judo and wrestling and Leamington Spa's Victoria Park will provide the setting for the lawn bowls competition.

While a large number of sessions and events have sold out, including the opening ceremony at Alexander Stadium and the start and finish points of the mountain biking and the marathon, there are still ways to watch events for free.

The cycling time trial on August 4 runs through Wolverhampton city centre at the start and towards the finish of the time trial, with Queen Square a starting point to watch the riders pass by.

There is also the Birmingham 2022 Festival Site, which is being set up on the day at Market Square, next to where the riders will go past as they re-enter the city centre.

Cycling time trials

People living along Penn Road will have excellent opportunities to set up seats outside their homes from the city centre to Rookery Lane, as will people living on Goldthorn Hill and Dudley Road heading into Sedgley.

There will be two timing sections in Sedgley; one as the riders head down the A457 towards the Birmingham New Road, the other as they head into the town and there will be plenty of spaces alongside the road, particularly at the Bramford Arms.

Heading into Dudley, Priory Road will have spaces on both sides for spectators, while Stone Square will be a popular space for anyone looking to watch the race inside Dudley town centre.

The riders will then head up the Broadway, a set of heavy climbs and with space on both sides of the road for spectators, with the only section not easily accessible for spectators being down Moden Hill and up Catholic Lane.

Other points where the race can be watched for free will be heading out of Sedgley, with the section where the men's race heads into Gornal at Cotwell End Road and the women's race at Gospel End Road worth putting a seat up at.

In Gornal, there will be areas down the Straits and Brick Kiln Lane, while the Himley Road past Himley Hall - although more remote due to not being near many houses - will have long straits for people to sit at.

Heading back into Wolverhampton, the Stourbridge Road is a long route with space for seats, while Penn Common will provide a stunning backdrop and ample room for seats.

Once the race heads back onto Penn Road, the section from the Rose and Crown pub will provide plenty of spaces for seating, including at the Roebuck and Mount Tavern pubs and the range of eateries along the way.

Finally, heading back into Wolverhampton city centre, there will be opportunities to watch the race from the side of Penn Road as the city centre looms into life, and heading down School Street and Waterloo Road towards West Park.


For people heading to Sutton Coldfield to watch the men's and women's triathlon, tickets are sold out for both days of competition on July 29 and July 31 inside the park.

However, while this will mean those without tickets being unable to watch the swimming and running sections, there will be opportunities to watch the competitors on the second cycling stage.

Stonehouse Road, Antrobus Road, Oakwood Road, Jockey Road, Darnick Road and Monmouth Road will be open for the competitors on July 29 to do four laps and July 31 to do one for the mixed relay.

Mountain biking

In Cannock Chase Forest, the mountain biking events for men and women on August 3 have both sold out of tickets, but walkers heading up and down Birches Valley may be able to catch the action as they walk down from Slitting Mill Road and Penkridge Bank Road.


Finally, the marathon events on July 30 will encompass a large area of Birmingham city centre and areas such as Bourneville, the area around Birmingham University and into central Birmingham, finishing at Victoria Square.

Marathon events have participation events since the first marathon at the 1896 Olympics and the men's and women's events in Birmingham will be no different, heading from Smithfield down a long stretch of the Pershore Road for people to cheer on the runners.

The race will go around Bourneville, allowing people at Cadbury World and the different parts of the village to watch the race go by, as well as a circuit of Cannon Hill Park on the route towards Bourneville.

Finally, after heading back up the Pershore Road, there will be sites in the city centre where the marathon will pass by, including the library and out into a circuit of the Jewellery Quarter.