The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will kick-start from Alexander Stadium on Thursday 28 July with the Opening Ceremony. To help visitors attending the Opening Ceremony plan their day, here’s some important information to be aware of.
Before you leave home - Top Tips
- Allow plenty of time to travel to Alexander Stadium and get there early. Gates open at 5PM. The pre-show starts at 7.15PM, be in your seats by then, you don’t want to miss it.
- The Opening Ceremony is scheduled to finish at 10.30PM, make sure you plan your return journey in advance and are aware of last services if travelling by bus, train or coach. Use the dedicated Games journey planner here.
- The RMT trade union has announced its members intend to take national strike action across the rail network on Wednesday 27 July, meaning train services on the morning of 28 July may be impacted. To avoid disruption, check before you travel and the B2022 website will be updated if any more announcements are made. All modes of public transport are included in your ticket in the local area, so remember buses and dedicated shuttle buses are also a great option.
- There is no parking at or near the venue. Park and ride sites are available and must be booked in advance before you arrive and a shuttle service that will drop you to the venue.
- To ensure there are no hold ups at security – small bags only, no luggage, bring unopen bottles of water or empty refillable bottles, even though it is a contactless venue, bring some cash just in case. For other prohibited and restricted items check here.
- There will be queuing for transport services after the ceremony finishes, so please be patient as the team works hard to get you on your way as quickly as possible.
- If travelling from outside the West Midlands, why not enjoy the night life and everything the West Midlands has to offer, book accommodation in the region instead of travelling home.
Getting to and from Alexander Stadium
- Top Tip: use the Games Journey Planner to plan your route to and from Alexander Stadium, remember that public transport in the local area is included in your ticket so will be the best way to travel.
- Public Transport: public transport in the West Midlands County is included in the price of your ticket on the day of the event. There are several bus services which serve the stadium and Perry Barr from across the region, including the X51, 51, 52 and 424. Or you could catch the train to Perry Barr station from Birmingham or Walsall. From there, it is a 25-minute walk to the venue.
- Shuttle Buses: a dedicated shuttle bus service will be provided from Birmingham City Centre, picking up at James Watt Queensway and dropping off at the new transport mall, which is a 50-150m walk to the stadium entrance.
- Coach: National Express, Megabus and Flixbus all run national coach services to Birmingham City Centre. Travelling to the West Midlands? The UK has an extensive network of coach services that can get you to the heart of the action. National coach operators National Express, Megabus and Flixbus all operate services into the West Midlands, other local coach operators may also be available. Please check coach operators' websites for the latest information:
We have also established a dedicated network of long distance coaches to help you get to and from the West Midlands. These services are only for Games spectators and will operate to Birmingham Digbeth Coach Station and Coventry Pool Meadow Bus Station from locations across the UK. These include: Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford, Leeds, Derby, Nottingham, Leicester, Cambridge, Luton, London, London Heathrow, Oxford, Cheltenham, Bristol, Cardiff, Herford and Shrewsbury. Tickets must be booked in advance.
For details on all services and to book please visit the dedicated booking site nationalexpress.com/commonwealthgames
- Active Travel: West Midlands Cycle Hire are offering 2 x 30 mins FREE rides, each day from 27 July – 8 August. Bikes are available 24/7, with docking stations at major bus, metro and train stations, visitor attractions and city or town centres.
There is a designated blue cycle route which runs along the A34 and provides direct access to Perry Barr from Birmingham City Centre. The route is approximately 6km long and takes approximately 25 minutes to cycle.
- Driving and/or Park & Ride: there is no parking at or near the venue and road restrictions in the area mean it will be difficult to drive. If you do decide to drive, there are a number of park and ride sites available that must be booked in advance before you arrive and a shuttle service that will drop you to the venue.
For those coming from further afield and wanting to get home about the Opening Ceremony, Park and Ride might be the best option.
- Accessibility Information: Blue badge parking at the venue is sold out for this session but a very limited number of additional spaces have been added at JLR Kingsbury where an accessible shuttle will bring you to the venue. These spaces must be pre-booked.
If you are travelling from the city centre, an accessible shuttle service will run from Smallbrook Queensway (just outside Birmingham New Street, opposite TK Maxx).
If travelling by train, Perry Barr station has step free access, and an accessible shuttle will be available to take you to the venue. If you require assistance for your rail journey, please book this via the relevant train operator in advance of your journey. The accessible load zone to get to the venue is within the station forecourt / new bus interchange. Follow signage and instructions of stewards in the area.
Drop Off Location: The accessible services (shuttle from Smallbrook Queensway, shuttle from JLR Blue Badge P&R, and shuttle from Perry Barr will all drop in the eastern end of the spectator mall, approx. 120m from the ticket gates.
We will have a dedicated accessibility support hub with seating and shelter. Staff will be able to provide loan wheelchairs for those that require them to access the venue and on return.
On Departure: On departure from the Alexander Stadium, there will be various points to wait and rest before accessing the accessible shuttles and you may be asked to remain inside the venue until the load zone queuing areas are clear enough to join. This is to ensure that your experience is as comfortable as possible.
Other Useful Tips
- Walking and cycling may be the best way to get the venue, there is a designated cycle route and West Midlands Cycle Hire are offering two x free 30-minute journeys.
- It will take time to get through security and the ticket gates so again plan to get there early.
- There will be food and drink available as well as merchandise stores, have a wander around once you get through security.
- Shuttle bus services will be available to get you back to Birmingham City Centre, but they will be busy so allow plenty of time for onward connections and be aware of last services.
- Long distance coaches are available through National Express, Megabus and Flixbus check these and book ahead.