Birmingham 2022 today announced that Coventry’s Ericsson Indoor Arena will host netball as part of its Commonwealth Games bid proposal.
The Ericsson Indoor Arena, part of the Ricoh Arena, is home to Wasps Netball, winners of the Vitality Netball Superleague in 2017.
The new Wasps Netball team is not only proving to be a force in the national game but is engaging with thousands of women and girls beginning or returning to the sport.
All Birmingham 2022 Netball fixtures, including preliminaries and finals will be held in the Arena, with 5,000 temporary seats installed for the Games.
Cllr Kamran Caan, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Sport, said: “Wasps Netball have had an amazing year and raised the profile of the sport and the city with their televised matches and their achievement in being crowned champions in their first ever Vitality Netball Superleague season.
“Their matches are enjoyed by families from around the region and the team is doing a great job to inspire women and girls to take up the sport and activity.
“They have added to the reputation of the Ricoh Arena, which was such a great venue for Olympic Football when we were a host city during London 2012 and I know the Ricoh Arena, and Coventry, would help Birmingham stage a Commonwealth Games to remember.”
With Coventry just 20 minutes' away from Birmingham New Street and 10 minutes from the NEC and Birmingham International Airport, Birmingham can deliver a compact Games for athletes, officials and spectators whilst also spreading the benefits of the Games across the West Midlands.
The Coventry and Warwickshire LEP is fully backing the Birmingham 2022 bid and this partnership also opens up opportunities to work with Coventry on its bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, whilst also contributing to Birmingham’s cultural plans for the Commonwealth Games.
Jonathan Browning, chairman of Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said: “Hosting the Commonwealth Games in the West Midlands would bring huge benefits to the region and Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership is pleased to support the Birmingham 2022 bid.
“We’re delighted that the Ericsson Indoor Arena at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry has been selected as one of the venues included in the bid.
“We witnessed the array of positive impacts bringing the London 2012 Games to Coventry and Warwickshire brought to the region, and it would be fantastic to welcome visitors from across the Commonwealth back to our area."
Wasps’ Director of Netball and Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist, Tamsin Greenway, said: "Having won bronze medals at two Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and Delhi I cannot begin to describe my excitement at the thought of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Netball matches being played here at the Ericsson Indoor Arena."
Nick Eastwood, Group Chief Executive at Wasps / Ricoh Arena, added: “The Ricoh Arena has vast experience of hosting top-class sporting events, and we look forward to putting on an event that the city of Coventry and the wider Midlands will remember for years to come.”
Villa Park Stadium, the 42,700 seater home of English Football League club Aston Villa, and Rugby World Cup 2015 venue, will host Rugby 7s for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
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