World-class Venues Play Key Role in Commonwealth Games 2022 Decision

The wealth of existing sports arenas and facilities in the West Midlands has been a key factor in awarding Birmingham host city status for Commonwealth Games 2022.

Four world-class indoor venues will be supplied by leading venue management company, NEC Group – whose senior team played a pivotal role in the bid process. There are also plans for the Group to host both a media centre and a dedicated broadcast facility.

Commenting on the results, Paul Thandi, chief executive of NEC Group, said:

“It’s a brilliant early Christmas present to get confirmation today that Birmingham has been selected as host city. Host cities are required to demonstrate world-class sporting facilities and NEC Group is proud to be supplying four of our top venues across Birmingham and Solihull. All our sites had to meet rigorous guidelines around athletes’ needs, technical specifications, seating capacity and Games-time logistics.

“This result is testament to our track record of delivering large-scale international sporting events and investing significantly into our venues to set us apart from our competitors. It also reflects the expertise and professionalism of our people.

“Securing the bid is great news for the city and surrounding area and great news for NEC Group. It’s a celebration of Birmingham’s sporting culture and equally exciting for the local economy – creating opportunities for people across the region and guaranteeing that Summer 2022 will be a busy period for us.

“This has been a great team effort by many people based in Birmingham and on the wider team. I would particularly like to congratulate Birmingham Council City Leader Cllr Ian Ward and Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street as well as our own MD of NEC Group Arenas, Phil Mead, international sports consultant Debbie Jevans and Birmingham City Council Corporate Director Waheed Nazir.”

95% of venues identified for Birmingham 2022 have already been built. NEC Group will be hosting a total of seven sports. Boxing, Judo, Table Tennis and Freestyle Wrestling will be in three of NEC’s largest halls (3, 4 and 5) plus Badminton at the Genting Arena and Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics at Arena Birmingham. Para-power wrestling will also be hosted in the Symphony Hall located with the ICC complex.

The NEC Group is all about bringing Live to Life©. The Group is one of the world’s top venue management companies, operating the NEC, ICC, Genting Arena, Arena Birmingham, formerly the Barclaycard Arena and the Vox Conference Centre. It also operates a national ticketing agency, The Ticket Factory; hospitality brand, Amplify; and award-winning caterer, Amadeus.

The internationally recognised NEC is situated on a site which also includes the Genting Arena with a combined total of 200,000 sq. m and is one of Europe’s largest indoor facilities. It is located beside Birmingham International Airport and offers excellent public transport links to central Birmingham as well as being located in the heart of the UK’s motorway network.

The NEC Group has expertise in regularly hosting major events, including: Crufts, the UK’s largest consumer event with 160,000 visitors annually; Spring Fair, the UK’s largest trade show; Skills Show, the nation’s largest skills, apprenticeships and careers event; and Horse of the Year Show.

It employs almost 2,000 employees providing event management expertise and robust back of house infrastructure and facilities.

With over forty years’ experience, the NEC Group operates 750 major events and attracts seven million visitors each year. In addition to the NEC, the Group also manages the Genting Arena, one of the world’s top entertainment arenas with flexible capacity of up to 15,700, and Arena Birmingham, a state-of-the-art city centre indoor sport and entertainment venue with a capacity of almost 16,000.