It was announced last December that Birmingham, England would be replacing Durban, South Africa as host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. As part of its bid, the West Midlands city aimed at using existing structures for the bulk of Games venues, save for a brand new aquatic center to be built in Sandwell.
Now more details of the ‘state-of-the-art’ center are being released, with Londonberry Playing Fields in Smethwick, Sandwell selected for the estimated £60m venue ($84.1 USD). The site will feature a 50m long competition pool, along with a 25m diving pool, with a spectator capacity of 5,000. Post-Games, the vision is for the center to then serve as a leisure facility for citizens in the area. That impact is especially notable as the outdated Smethwick Swimming Centre and Langley Swimming Centre are both closing once the new venue is ready.
Sandwell Council leader Steve Eling said, “The Commonwealth Games is going to be a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the West Midlands. Here in Sandwell, we are very proud to be part of it and to be chosen to host the aquatics centre, which will include diving and swimming events. The eyes of the world will be on Sandwell and the benefits to the local economy will be huge with significant investment into the area and athletes and visitors from around the globe.” (Express and Star)
Per Express and Star, costs of building the new centre will be covered by several institutions, including the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Sandwell Council and Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership.