Birmingham has beaten Liverpool in the race to be England’s candidate to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, ministers announced on Thursday.
The Midlands city must now convince the British government to approve the bid and underwrite the event’s costs.
The 2022 event became unexpectedly available in March, when the Commonwealth Games Federation stripped the South African city of Durban of the right to stage the quadrennial showpiece for failing to meet “key obligations”.
“I am grateful to the bid teams from both Birmingham and Liverpool for their hard work in making the case for their respective cities as potential Commonwealth Games hosts,” said sports minister Tracey Crouch.
“Now, after a comprehensive assessment process, the government will look at the final bid proposal from Birmingham and decide if a formal bid will be submitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
“We need to be completely satisfied that the bid offers overall value for money from hosting the Games and that a strong economic and sporting legacy can be delivered from it.”
The federation’s final decision on where the Games will be held is expected by the end of the year.
The chairman of Birmingham’s bid committee said: “This is a great endorsement by the UK government of Birmingham’s credentials to host the Games and recognition of the city’s resolve to deliver a memorable event.”
The Commonwealth Games are restricted to countries that are members of the Commonwealth, a collection of nations that were mainly once part of the British Empire.
The 2018 Games will be hosted at Australia’s Gold Coast.