In light of the coronavirus pandemic’s financial and economic impact, 2022 Commonwealth Games organizers have revised the athlete village plans for Birmingham.
Instead of having a single, centralized location for athletes, competitors and officials will now be housed across 3 campuses at The University of Birmingham, The University of Warwick and The NEC Hotel Campus. Approximately 2800 are expected to be boarded at the former spot, with 1900 and 1600 people, respectively, at the latter two locations.
Per Birmingham 2022‘s official announcement, ‘the decision to move away from the single site athletes’ village in the Perry Barr area of the city has been made by the Games Partnership with just under two years to go, after reviewing the impact of the global health pandemic.
‘It follows an assessment by the project delivery team, who has been working with the construction supply chain, as well as independent experts, on how they could de-risk Games delivery. With a shorter than normal timeframe for delivery of the Birmingham 2022 Games, the new build accommodation site was under continued review from the outset, with expert consultation throughout, and had very little scope to withstand the impact COVID-19 has had on construction.’
The new three-site campus model for Birmingham 2022 athlete accommodation will be delivered within the overall Games budget of £778 million, with the Games remaining on track to be delivered on time and on budget.
Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022 said, “These are challenging times for all of us and delivering a major multi sports event during this period has meant we have needed to collaborate effectively, be pragmatic to change, and remain realistic about the challenges we face.
We recognise that this new model is a move away from the historic norm and we are grateful for the support shown by our partners across the Commonwealth Games Associations.
Birmingham and the West Midlands is extremely fortunate to have superb alternate facilities and we are making this decision now, with two years to go, to de-risk the project, ensure delivery for athletes and teams and secure the legacy of new housing and transport infrastructure in Perry Barr.
This is the sensible and pragmatic thing to do for the Games, the athletes and for the people of Birmingham. It enables Birmingham City Council to focus on the delivery of the Perry Barr Regeneration Scheme and gives us enough time to plan essential Games services like transport and security. Furthermore, it offers athletes and teams the assurance of a warm welcome and a superb Games experience in their homes-from-home across the West Midlands”.