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The Liverpool Commonwealth Games

I’m far from being a big sports fan but I was excited to read that Liverpool is considering bidding for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, the idea of a Liverpool Commonwealth Games sounds amazing! Obviously I think this would be an awesome idea and I know that my city would make a great host and  it would definitely be a positive thing for the city as a whole.

Liverpool does big events well. We do them in style and they are always something to be proud of. Giant Spectacular: Memories of August 1914 won the Gold Tourism Even of the Year Award from Visit England and that’s just one of many examples of how amazing this city can be when it needs to be and there are of course business benefits of any big event coming to your city.

Joe Anderson has described the possibility of the Commonwealth Games coming to Liverpool as an opportunity to push forward the regeneration of the city and our experience as the European Capital Culture 2008 is something which he believes will be a positive influence on the possibilities of the city playing host to the Games. It also rests in part on Anderson being re-elected – which he will be if I have anything to do with it!

When it comes to sport Liverpool obviously has its place on the map with the whole football thing going on, we have a strong reputation in the boxing ring, as well as it being a hugely popular sport and of course Aintree means we are world famou for horse racing and the Grand National. Golf in the area is highly regarded with the Royal Liverpool Golf Club hosting the Open on several occasions, including in 2014.

Athletes who may get to play to their home crowd in 2026 include heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson. Gymnast Beth Tweddle is also one of the city’s most famous athletes although she’ll probably be cheering very much from the sidelines since she retired in 2013.

It is very early days for the Liverpool Commonwealth Games but I thought I’d get my support out there early on and hopefully be something that comes to fruition.

Manchester and the Commonwealth Games Legacy

The best way to look at how valuable the Commonwealth Games can be to a city for me, is to look at our nearest neighbour and one of my favourite places, Manchester. I lived in Mancheste for 2-3 years during university and absolutely adore that city so it seems to be about the right place to see the positive impact the Commonwealth Games can have.

The Manchester Commonwealth Games were quite awhile back in 2002 but the impact they had on the city is remarkable. At their time the Games were the largest ever multi-sport event held in the UK and they shone a spotlight on Manchester around the globe, in Commonwealth nations and beyond. In 2002 there were approximately 18 million visitors to the city each year and in 2012 this number had reached 90 million, some of which has to be attributed to the success of the games. Inclusivity was core to the Manchester Games message and this is something which has been positively adopted by almost all events since.

The event saw huge regeneration for vast areas of the city and the creation of SportCity which incorporates an athletics track, National Squash Centre, tennis centre and the Velodrome. The City of Manchester Stadium (Etihad Stadium) was also built to house the Games and became the heart of the whole event and the Aquatics Centre too was built for the Games and has played host to many international competitions and even played host to the Australian Olympic Team in London 2012.

The reputation of the city was improved no end, with competitors from the game choosing to move to the area after experiencing it and the Manchester Games have also been given praise for kick-starting the British obsession with cycling and the surge of great cycling talents like Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton.

One Vote for the Liverpool Commonwealth Games

2026 isn’t exactly around the corner but preparations are under way and many cities including Cardiff and Edmonton are considering bidding. It’s pretty clear I’m absolutely behind the Liverpool bid, if we get to the stage where we’re ready to make it and I would love to see the level of sporting development and regeneration in the city we deliver to reach the same heights as Manchester and I’m more than sure it’s an event which would give Liverpool another opportunity to show the world how fantastic it is.

Of course I’m biased as I do love it here and I’m biased because any economic boost to the city may this Liverpool copywriter getting a little more work coming her way, but still, it would be a great thing.

Image Credit: By Beverley Goodwin (Flickr: Picture postcard Liverpool) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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