Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games contributed £1.2 billion to UK economy

The Games contributed £79.5 million (€92 million) in social value, including community benefits and increases in the wellbeing and earnings of volunteers and those trained as part of the Games.

As well as contributing around £1.2 billion (€1.4 billion) to the UK economy, almost half of which was in the West Midlands alone, the Games created 22,380 full-time equivalent years of employment. The Games, which ran from 28 July to 8 August 2022, brought together 6,600 athletes and team officials from 72 Commonwealth nations and territories. It was the largest multi-sport event to be held in England since London 2012 and broke the record for ticket sales for a Commonwealth Games. 

The Games were delivered on time and under budget, with £70 million of surplus funds being reinvested in the West Midlands region through the Commonwealth Games Legacy Enhancement Fund to support business growth, inspire young people through sports participation programmes and youth projects, and fund support grassroots organisations. 

To promote this positive report, Sports Minister Stuart Andrew is attending the Sport Accord World Sport and Business Summit, which brings together global sport business leaders, at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham this week. 

The Alexander Stadium said goodbye to the 2022 Commonwealth Games. GETTY IMAGES
The Alexander Stadium said goodbye to the 2022 Commonwealth Games. GETTY IMAGES

Stuart Andrew said: "With over 1.5 million tickets sold, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games was a record-breaking event that continues to have a positive impact on the region two years on. This report shows that hosting major sporting events in this country drives growth, creates jobs and has a lasting social impact on communities and some of the world's best athletes will once again descend on Birmingham for the European Athletics Championships in 2026." 

Birmingham saw a significant increase in visitors as a result of the Commonwealth Games, with visitor numbers up 6 per cent on pre-pandemic levels. There were also 834.9 million global TV views, over 215 million digital views and 141 million social media interactions. The West Midlands also saw a 27% per cent increase in foreign direct investment projects between 2021/22 and 2022/23, almost seven times higher than the rest of the UK (4 per cent). 

The report also found that the Games could generate over £150 million (€174 million) of additional social value in the longer term, largely as a result of the increased future earnings of those trained as part of the Games. 

Chris Jenkins OBE commented: "Birmingham 2022 was a spectacular, record-breaking Games, creating iconic moments on and off the field and uniting the Commonwealth through sport. As the first major multi-sport event in history to award more medals to women than men, with the largest ever fully integrated Para sports programme, it captivated more than 1.5 million fans in attendance and had a global TV audience of 834.9 million." 

Stuart Andrew is the UK Minister for Sport. GETTY IMAGES
Stuart Andrew is the UK Minister for Sport. GETTY IMAGES

"It was so much more than 11 days of competition. The report outlines the positive impact and lasting legacy of the Games, which contributed £1.2 billion to the UK economy and £79.5 million in social value. It boosted investment, created jobs and boosted tourism, with 2022 visitor numbers to Birmingham and the West Midlands the highest ever. From increased civic pride and social cohesion to increased participation in sport, the Games were truly transformational," added the Commonwealth Games Federation President

The Games was supported by the Business and Tourism Programme (BATP) - the first economic legacy programme to be aligned to a Commonwealth Games. Delivered by the West Midlands Growth Company in collaboration with the Government, Visit Britain and the West Midlands Combined Authority, the programme aimed to capitalise on the ‘halo effect’ of the Games by boosting trade, investment and tourism. 

Neil Rami, chief executive of the West Midlands Growth Company,  stated: "The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games - and our dedicated Business and Tourism Programme - have contributed to a record year of performance for the West Midlands. The region has seen the UK's highest rate of growth in FDI and an unprecedented 141 million visitors in 2022 - smashing the previous record set before the COVID-19 pandemic." 

Neil Rami, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Growth Company LINKEDIN
Neil Rami, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Growth Company LINKEDIN

"These figures are a powerful endorsement of the West Midlands' world-class ability to host events. They confirm the powerful role of sporting events in raising the profile of the region, boosting the economy and winning hearts and minds," he concluded. 

The evaluation shows that the Games has also had a positive impact on the regeneration of the Perry Barr area in the north of the city. This includes improvements to transport infrastructure and the redevelopment of the Alexander Stadium, which is now open for community use and will also host the European Athletics Championships in 2026, the first time this event has been held in the UK. 

It's just one of a number of major sporting events to be staged in the UK in the coming years, including the Women's Rugby World Cup in 2025and the UEFA European Championships in the UK and Ireland in 2028 . This follows major hosting successes in recent years, including the 2022 UEFA Women's European Championship and the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. The report shows that major sporting events have a significant impact on all areas of society.