▲ Image: Gymnast Max Whitlock performed demonstrations on Birmingham landmarks to mark the ballot opening
The main ticket ballot for Birmingham 2022 has begun today – there are more than one million tickets priced £22 or less available for the biggest multi-sport event to be held in the UK since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
With 286 sessions, there is something for everyone, with tickets available for many of the sports where home nation athletes and Para athletes saw success in Tokyo over the last six weeks, such as swimming, diving, cycling, gymnastics, boxing, triathlon and athletics, plus popular Commonwealth sports like netball, squash and lawn bowls. There are even some new sports making a Commonwealth debut including women’s cricket T20, basketball 3×3 and wheelchair basketball 3×3.
▲ Video: Gymnast Max Whitlock performed demonstrations on Birmingham landmarks to mark the ballot opening
But it’s not just the sporting action that tickets are available for, as applications are also open for tickets for the official Opening Ceremony on 28 July 2022 and the official Closing Ceremony on 8 August 2022. The creative team for these ceremonies was recently announced and includes Steven Knight CBE, creator and writer of Peaky Blinders, as Executive Director and Birmingham born, globally renowned theatre director, Iqbal Khan as Artistic Director.
Olympic and Commonwealth gold medal winning gymnast, Max Whitlock, who performed gymnastics skills at well-known landmarks in Birmingham yesterday, to help launch the ticket ballot, said: “The Commonwealth Games has been a key event in my career so far and to have a home games for Team England on the horizon is fantastic.
“Tokyo was an amazing experience but the chance to compete in front of a home crowd with family, friends and spectators all in attendance will be massively appealing to many of our country’s best athletes. It is going to be an incredible Games and Birmingham will be a fantastic host city. I am really looking forward to it.”
The 14 venues that have been announced so far for the Games include the Alexander Stadium which is currently being completely redeveloped ahead of hosting the athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies next summer, and the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, the only brand-new venue for the Games, which will host Birmingham 2022’s swimming and diving programme.
One swimmer who is looking forward to the opportunity of competing in this brand-new facility is Maisie Summers-Newton who has just returned from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics with two gold medals: “This will be my first chance to swim in a Commonwealth Games for Team England and to do that at a home games in a fantastic new venue filled with spectators would be absolutely amazing. Birmingham 2022 is going to be a fantastic event and I just can’t wait.”
Ian Reid, Chief Executive of Birmingham 2022, said: “We have watched in awe at the amazing performances of the athletes that have competed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and these were truly special events but unfortunately many of those athletes had to compete in front of empty stadiums.
“Birmingham 2022 will be different, and we expect to have full stadiums, with passionate crowds to cheer on the athletes, so if you want to witness sporting greatness and you want to help create an incredible atmosphere for the 4,500 athletes expected to take part in the Games, then now is the time to apply for your tickets.”
Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport and Tourism, said: “Birmingham 2022 is a wonderful opportunity to see some of the best sporting talent in the world compete right here in the UK.
“Now more than ever, we know how important fans are to live sport and it will be fantastic to see the atmosphere they create in Birmingham next year.
“With 19 different sports to watch, and tickets starting from £8 for under 16s, there should be something for everyone to enjoy.”
“We look forward to staging 11 days of electric competition”
CGF President, Dame Louise Martin, said: “Birmingham 2022 will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see world class athletes and experience the very best that Commonwealth Sport has to offer.
“We look forward to staging 11 days of electric competition that will see 4,500 elite athletes compete across 19 sports.
“We are delighted to be offering affordable ticket prices, so make sure you don’t miss out! Please visit the Birmingham 2022 ticketing website this month to ensure that you are a part of this wonderful multi-sport event.”
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham is a friendly, welcoming city with a fantastic track record for staging major sporting events. Now we’re inviting people from all parts of the country to stake their claim for tickets to what will be the biggest and best event in our history.
“Thousands of people from the Proud Host City of Birmingham and the wider region have already secured their attendance at the Games for Everyone. If you want to be a part of an unforgettable 11 days of action in a city that loves its sport, get your application in. We can’t wait to see you next year.”
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “For many the Commonwealth Games is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it is an incredible privilege for the West Midlands to be hosting.
“By securing tickets through the ballot people from around the country will not only be able to cheer on their heroes in person, but they’ll also be able to sample the best region in the world. It really is a no brainer to apply for tickets and get involved.”