Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games is a large scale multi-sport competition, contested by members of the Commonwealth of Nations (although there are 53 members, 71 teams compete as some territories compete under their own flags). Founded originally as the British Empire Games in 1930, the most recent Games was held in the Gold Coast in Australia in 2018.

There are 22 sports and 7 para-sports which can be included in the Commonwealth Games. Core sports must be included in the Games, whilst some optional sports can be included if the host nation wishes:

  • Archery (Optional)
  • Athletics (Core)
  • Para Athletics (Core)
  • Badminton (Core)
  • Basketball 3×3 (Optional)
  • Boxing (Core)
  • Cricket (Optional)
  • Mountain Bike Cycling (Optional)
  • Para Track Cycling (Optional)
  • Road Cycling (Core)
  • Track Cycling (Optional)
  • Diving (Optional)
  • Hockey (Core)
  • Gymnastics – Artistic (Core)
  • Gymnastics – Rhythmic (Optional)
  • Judo (Core)
  • Lawn Bowls (Core)
  • Para Lawn Bowls (Core)
  • Netball – Women (Core)
  • Powerlifting (Core)
  • Rugby Sevens (Core)
  • Shooting (Optional)
  • Squash (Core)
  • Swimming (Core)
  • Para Swimming (Core)
  • Table Tennis (Core)
  • Para Table Tennis (Optional)
  • Triathlon (Core)
  • Volleyball -Beach (Optional)
  • Weightlifting (Core)
  • Wheelchair Basketball (Optional)
  • Wrestling -Freestyle (Core)

When is the Commonwealth Games?

The Commonwealth Games takes place every 4 years, with the 22nd edition scheduled from Thursday 28th July to Monday 8th August 2022.

The Archery and Shooting events will be held in January 2022 as the 2022 Commonwealth Archery and Shooting Championships and medals awarded will count towards the final medal table.


Where is the Commonwealth Games?

19 cities in 9 countries have hosted the Commonwealth Games, with Australia hosting more than any other with 5. 2 cities have hosted the Games more than once – Auckland (1950 & 1990) and Edinburgh (1970 & 1986).

Previous hosts of the Commonwealth Games include:

  • 2018 – Gold Coast, Australia
  • 2014 – Glasgow, Scotland
  • 2010 – Delhi, India
  • 2006 – Melbourne, Australia
  • 2002 – Manchester, England
  • 1998 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 1994 – Victoria, Canada
  • 1990 – Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1986 – Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1982 – Brisbane, Australia
  • 1978 – Edmondton, Canada
  • 1974 – Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 1970 – Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1966 – Kingston, Jamaica
  • 1962 – Perth, Australia
  • 1958 – Cardiff, Wales
  • 1954 – Vancouver, Canada
  • 1950 – Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1938 – Sydney, Australia
  • 1934 – London, England
  • 1930 – Hamilton, Canada

Durban in South Africa were originally awarded the 2022 Commonwealth Games but were stripped as hosts in March 2017 due to financial constraints. The 2022 Commonwealth Games is therefore instead being hosted in Birmingham, England for the first time at the following venues:

Birmingham and the West Midlands

  • Alexander Stadium (Capacity – 40,000) – Opening/Closing Ceremonies & Athletics
  • Arena Birmingham (Capacity – 15,000) – Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • Cannock Chase – Cycling (Mountain Bike, Road & Time Trial)
  • Edgbaston Cricket Ground (Capacity – 25,000) Cricket
  • National Exhibition Centre (Capacity – 5,000) – Badminton, Boxing, Table Tennis, Netball & Weightlifting
  • Ricoh Arena, Coventry (Capacity – 32,753) – Rugby 7s, Judo & Wrestling
  • Sandwell Aquatics Centre (Capacity – 5,000) – Swimming & Diving
  • Sutton Park – Triathlon
  • University of Birmingham (Capacity – 5,000) – Squash & Hockey
  • Victoria Square (Capacity – 3,000) – Basketball 3×3
  • Victoria Park, Leamington Spa (Capacity – 2,000) – Lawn bowls

Outside the West Midlands

Shooting was to initially be excluded from the 2022 Commonwealth Games, a decision which had led to the threat of India boycotting the Games. It was therefore announced in February 2020 that the 2022 Commonwealth Archery and Shooting Championships will take place in Chandigarh, India.

The Track cycling event will be held 136 miles away from Birmingham at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London as there was no suitable venue within the West Midlands.

The hosts of the 2026 Commonwealth Games have yet to be decided with India, Shah Alam in Malaysia and Hamilton in Canada currently considering bidding to host.


How do I get to the 2022 Commonwealth Games?

Airport: Birmingham Airport is located approximately 8 miles east of Birmingham city centre. The Airport serves European destinations, as well as international destinations such as the Caribbean, India, Pakistan, Qatar and the UAE. There is a train station (Birmingham International) at the airport which connects to central Birmingham.

Thinking of going to Birmingham? Search & book your flights through Skyscanner here.

Coach: Birmingham Coach Station is close to the city centre, National Express has links to many destinations from Birmingham, you can search and book your tickets here.

Alternatively, Megabus offers cheap travel to Birmingham and offers over 10 routes from Aberdeen, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich and Sheffield. You can search and book your tickets here.

Train: Birmingham New Street Station is the biggest of Birmingham’s train stations, it serves many destinations across the UK including Bournemouth, Bristol Temple Meads, Cardiff Central, Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Central, Leicester, London Euston, Manchester Piccadilly, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Reading,  Sheffield and Southampton Central. From the station take the bus as listed above, or use a taxi.

Birmingham’s other main stations, Moor Street and Snow Hill are more regional, although there is a service to London Marylebone from Moor Street.

Thinking of catching a train to Birmingham? Search and book your journey through the Trainline here.


Where to stay in Birmingham during the Commonwealth Games

Use TripAdvisor to find some great places to stay in Birmingham by clicking here.


How do I get tickets to the 2022 Commonwealth Games?

Over 1 million tickets will be available for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and are expected to go on sale in late 2020 or early 2021. For further information and to sign up for updates, check the official website.


Further Information

Commonwealth Games Official Website

2022 Commonwealth Games Official Website

Sports Tourist Birmingham City Guide


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