Birmingham has announced its intention to officially enter the race to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026 and those looking to bring the global sporting event to the city are calling on the entire region to get behind the bid.

With the full support of Birmingham City Council, the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, the West Midlands Combined Authority and Midlands Engine, the bid has the potential to generate in excess of *£390 million GVA for the local economy, create thousands of jobs and catapult the region onto the global stage.

Birmingham has a track record of delivering large international sporting events, recently hosting The Ashes at Edgbaston, Rugby World Cup fixtures at Villa Park, Diamond League athletics meetings at the Alexander Stadium, the Aegon Classic tennis championships at the Edgbaston Priory Club, the All England Open Badminton Championships and the UCI BMX Championships.

A successful bid for the Games could lead to events being hosted at Edgbaston, with Warwickshire CCC Chief Executive Neil Snowball very keen to support the campaign.

“To host the Commonwealth Games would be fantastic for the people of Birmingham and would,I’m sure, inspire this region’s next generation of athletes,” said Snowball.

“We have some of the most famous sporting venues and arenas in the country, including Edgbaston, and many have undergone significant redevelopments in recent years which would enable them to be used as venues for the Commonwealth Games in 2026”

“The city has consistently proven itself as an outstanding host of major sporting events and with the unprecedented investment in infrastructure in the region including Birmingham New Street Station, the Midlands Metro network and of course HS2 we will have an infrastructure to be great hosts to the thousands of athletes, officials and spectators attending the Games.

“We’re very excited by today’s news and hope that we can play a part in developing a compelling and successful bid.”

71 teams will take part in the Commonwealth Games in sports such as athletics, bowls, netball, rugby sevens, gymnastics, swimming and boxing.

Other cities believed to be considering bidding include Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, Edmonton in Canada and Liverpool. Candidates must notify of their intention to bid by March 2018, with the winning city being unveiled in November 2019.

Birmingham City Council will now commission a full feasibility study and form the Commonwealth Games 2026 bid organising committee to progress the city and region’s ambition to host this high-profile event.