Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Liverpool 2022

World Firefighter Games, Liverpool, 2008 - Opening Parade
When the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson suggested that Liverpool was interested in bidding to be host city for the Commonwealth Games in 2026 I thought it sounds interesting, something we should at least consider but it’s a long way off, I’ll get round to getting excited about the prospect one day, but not yet.

Suddenly with Durban’s hosting of the 2022 games looking in doubt, we now have the prospect of Liverpool stepping into host the games in 5 years’ time!

I’ve no doubt there are the usual suspects, and others, already shaking their heads and denouncing this as a non-runner which we can’t achieve.  And the usual keyboard warriors are probably already wheeling out their rusty scouser “jokes” that weren’t funny 20 years ago.  But me, I love a challenge, and my first instinct was “bloody hell, we need to roll our sleeves up, pull our fingers out, and put our backs into it” (and other assorted metaphors).

Can it be done?  Yes of course it can.
Can we do it? Yes, if we want to.
Will we do it? That’s the question.
Tour of Britain, Liverpool, 2014
If we are going to leave the EU and embrace “Global Britain” then what could be more of a statement of intent than a trading mercantile city like Liverpool hosting the Commonwealth’s finest athletes.

5 years is a very short time to organise a Games, so we’d need to bring some new thinking to the bid.  For a start we’d need to build venues, or would we?  When Glasgow hosted the Games in 2014, the swimming events were held in Edinburgh, so there is no reason why our cycling events couldn’t be held at the Manchester Velodrome.  There are existing venues and locations we could use in the North West and North Wales, all within an hour’s journey from Liverpool.  All the indoor activities could be accommodated in the Liverpool Arena & Exhibition Centre complex.  This could also give an impetus to the pending development at Liverpool Waters and Bramley Moore Stadium (Everton FC). 

But with the cost of hosting the Commonwealth, and the Olympic, Games becoming out of reach of many countries (hence why Durban are struggling) surely bringing the games back down to a realistic footing would bode well for their future 

The DCMS and HM Treasury would of course need to put some money where their post-Brexit mouths are, but with Theresa May presumably having won the 2020 election, what could be better than a mid second term opportunity to stand tall on the world stage.

The Mayor of Liverpool, Mayor of Liverpool City Region and Mayor of Greater Manchester would also need to work together on this – alas not a mean feat in itself – to present a cohesive plan to the government and Commonwealth Games Federation.
Sea Odyssey, Liverpool 2012
And of course we’d need to have the people of the city on board.  There will be plenty of naysayers, aka the Echo Comments page, but one of the key reasons we won 2008 Capital of Culture was the willingness of the people to get behind the bid.  We need that spirit to prevail again.

So, Liverpool 2022. #AllHandsOnDeck

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