Changes in the sports’ profile means Coventry will no longer host netball at the Commonwealth Games 2022.
Birmingham 2022 have announced a change in venue for netball, following the recent growth in popularity of the sport.
Following a massive increase in the sports’ profile, the sport will be moved from the Ricoh Arena to the NEC, increasing capacity and allowing more netball fans the opportunity to enjoy the sport in the summer of 2022.
This news comes after a routine review of venues, nearly two years on from Birmingham’s bid, which has also seem rugby sevens, Judo and wrestling relocating to the Ricoh Arena.
The venue refresh follows on from the recent announcement that Birmingham’s iconic Edgbaston Stadium has signed up to be an official venue for Birmingham 2022, after women’s cricket was added to the Games sports programme.
With beach volleyball added too, there are now even more sports taking place in and around the city.
Liz Nicholl CBE, President of the International Netball Federation welcomed news of the venue change for netball: “We are delighted by Birmingham 2022’s decision to relocate netball for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and fully support this decision.
“While the Coventry Arena is an excellent venue, this move to the NEC will increase the capacity significantly. This will be welcomed by the netball family and the significant fan base that our sport now attracts, as seen at the recent Netball World Cup in July 2019 when over 110,000 tickets were sold”.
Ian Reid, Chief Executive Officer explained the venue changes announced today: “As is common practice for all major multi-sport events, we have been considering how best to optimise the mix of venues available to us, making sure we’re being as efficient as possible in terms of usage and cost, and ensuring that we are developing a fantastic experience and showcase for the sport, the athletes, the spectators and the host city and region.
“We are delighted to be able to relocate netball into a larger venue as this sport’s profile has massively increased since the 2017 bid.”
Stuart Cain, Chief Executive (Venue) at Wasps said: “We’ve built a great reputation for staging top-level rugby union at the Coventry Arena having hosted Six Nations games, European semi-final matches, as well as obviously all Wasps home games.
“This is a great extension and gives us the chance to work with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to deliver another successful rugby tournament in the region. We’re also excited to host the wrestling and judo within the Coventry Indoor Arena, adding to the diversity of sports we’ve already accommodated at the stadium.”
The latest venue update has now been approved by the Commonwealth Games Federation’s Executive Board, ahead of its General Assembly in Rwanda at the start of September, which will see a team from Birmingham 2022 presenting an update on preparations for the event to representatives from the 71 Commonwealth nations and territories from across the globe.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held in venues across Birmingham and the West Midlands from 27 July until 7 August 2022, and will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to put the city on the map and to showcase the fantastic venues and facilities available in the region.