Birmingham Commonwealth Games tickets and tips!
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games are fast approaching so it’s definitely time to get involved if you haven’t already. Start by reading this handy guide to get yourself ahead of the games. On your marks…get set…go!
When do the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games start?
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games take place over 12 days and will run from Thursday 28th July (opening ceremony at 7pm in the evening at Alexander Stadium) until Monday 8th August. Events will be happening during the day on Monday 8th, and the closing ceremony will be in the evening. You may be lucky enough to have your Birmingham Commonwealth Games tickets already, but might not be sure which venue to go to, so here’s a handy list:
Where is it happening?
The locations for the events are as follows:
Alexander Stadium, (Perry Barr) – Opening and closing ceremonies, athletics and para-athletics
Arena Birmingham, (city centre) – Gymnastics
Cannock Chase Forest, (Staffordshire) – Mountain biking – men’s and women’s cross country
Coventry Arena, (Coventry) – Judo and wrestling
Coventry Stadium, (Coventry) – Rugby Sevens
Edgbaston Stadium, (Edgbaston) – Cricket T20
Lee Valley Velopark (London) – Cycling – track and para-track
Sandwell Aquatics Centre, (Smethwick) – Diving, swimming and para-swimming
Smithfield, (city centre) – Basketball, wheelchair basketball, beach volleyball and marathon start point.
St Nicholas Park, (Warwick) – Cycling – road race
Sutton Park, (Sutton Coldfield) – Triathlon and para-triathlon
The NEC Arena, (Solihull) – Netball and Hall 1 para-powerlifting and weightlifting, Hall 3 – table tennis and para-table tennis, Hall 4 – boxing and Hall 5 – badminton
University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre (Edgbaston) – hockey and squash
Victoria Park, (Leamington Spa) – Lawn bowls and para-lawn bowls.
West Park, (Wolverhampton) – Cycling time trial.
There is a full event timetable on the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games website (click on ‘Games Info’ or ‘Schedule’) so you can see which event is taking place on which day. It is also possible to download and print the timetable. The marathon event is a road event that is free to attend, and this will be run on Saturday 30th July. The starting line is at Smithfield, and from here athletes will run around the city centre and out to Edgbaston, Stirchley and Bournville. After heading back into town, they run through the Jewellery Quarter before crossing the finish line in Victoria Square.
Can I still buy Birmingham Commonwealth Games tickets?
The ballot phase of ticket sales for West Midlands residents and the wider UK has now been completed and therefore very popular events such as the opening ceremony, athletics finals, swimming and diving have sold out. However, all remaining Birmingham Commonwealth Games tickets are on general sale so you can go to the official website, create an account and click on ‘buy tickets’ to view what’s available. I have provided the link below.
An important point I noted was that there will be an off-sale period between Monday 21st March and mid-April whilst seats are allocated, and final release tickets are prepared. Grab your tickets now or come back later! There are various price bands of tickets depending on age of attendee and / or how good the view is of the action. Prices range from £8 for a junior ticket to the table tennis up to £290 for a ‘best in house’ view of the closing ceremony. Just search and see!
There will also be an official resale page for Birmingham Commonwealth Games tickets that are no longer wanted so you may want to keep an eye out for that. As for any major event, beware of any unofficial sites or ticket sources.
What if I haven’t got Birmingham Commonwealth Games tickets? Are there any free events?
There are 5 free events to attend which are the marathon, cycling – road race, cycling – time trial, triathlon, and cycling – mountain bike. All the routes and viewing points are available online.
There are also many other ways to get involved for example there are numerous volunteer and job opportunities, including roles that are particularly suited for young people.
You can take advantage of the free events that will form the exciting and ground-breaking Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Festival and you can also get involved on social media (see below).
I’m travelling to Birmingham, whereabouts should I stay?
Alexander stadium is in Perry Bar which is a suburb in north Birmingham. There are a few hotels in the vicinity of the stadium however availability is looking very low. My advice is not to be too concerned about staying nearby as there are excellent transport links. The stadium is a mere 4 miles away from the city centre and so is easily accessible by bus or taxi. As I mention in my top tips later, the cost of public transport to and from the events is covered in the price of your Birmingham Commonwealth Games tickets, although I am waiting for further information on this.
If you are a visitor to Birmingham, you will most likely want to stay more centrally in order to take advantage of all the excellent restaurants, activities and sightseeing that Birmingham has to offer (see my 48 hours in Birmingham post for my recommendations). I have noticed rather inflated prices on certain accommodation offerings stating that they are located ‘in the vicinity of the Commonwealth Games’. Don’t be sucked in, as the games will be accessible to all, especially if you are staying in or around central Birmingham. Please also note the exception of the track cycling which will be held in London.
If you are attending events at the NEC, Coventry, Leamington Spa, Warwick or Wolverhampton, the train services are excellent. You will have no issues at all hopping onto a tram or train that takes you directly from these locations into Birmingham city centre and vice versa.
Can you recommend any hotels?
Birmingham City Centre:
My favourite hotels in Birmingham City Centre which still have any availability left (on 16th March) are: The Mal Maison, Staying Cool at the Rotunda, (serviced apartments) and I also find the Jury’s Inn to be extremely pleasant. There are slim pickings for apartments, but I have seen some characterful and convenient pads in the Jewellery Quarter still available and some pricier ones at No 8 Waterloo Street. My top tip is to grab one from Top Meadow Stays before they also fly off the shelf!
Sadly, the boutique hotels in Edgbaston are fully booked for the duration of the games but there does appear to be some final rooms remaining at the Edgbaston Park Hotel which would be an excellent base for cricket, hockey or squash fans.
For Solihull (on site at the NEC):
I would book the Genting Hotel as it is luxurious, stylish and comfortable and you will be spoilt for choice for dinner and entertainment options without having to venture outside of the Resorts World complex. For central Solihull, book the voco. St Johns or for a quieter place to escape in suburbia try the Greswolde hotel in Knowle or Hogarths in Dorridge.
For Leamington Spa:
I have not stayed here previously but I have been advised on good authority that the Premier Inn is a great option for Leamington as it has a top-notch steak house attached. My second choice is a little further out but still within an 8-minute drive of Victoria Park; Mallory Court Country House Hotel & Spa appears to be the perfect retreat following an afternoon at the bowls. For options that are easier on the pocket, I’ve seen some fresh looking and convenient apartments on air bnb including some for as little as £40.00 per night. You can see on the map that appears on the website exactly how far they are away from Victoria Park.
For Wolverhampton – again I have not stayed in any hotels in Wolves, but I have visited the vast and impressive West Park. Following my own nose for a local budget friendly option, I would take a punt on Ely House hotel which at the time of writing still has availability on 4th August and if I was looking to make a rather sporting weekend of it – I’d treat myself to a night at the Park Hall Hotel and Spa.
Finally, my recommendations for Sutton Coldfield would be the Belfry or New Hall Hotel and Spa.
Most importantly, I would say get booking! I have found very low availability for the relevant dates so once you have booked your Birmingham Commonwealth Games tickets, then try my hotel recommendations above. If there is no availability left on your requested dates, then feel free to dm me on Instagram for alternative suggestions @girlaboutbirmingham.
What is happening in the build up?
Celebrations for the games have already started! The Commonwealth Games clock outside Birmingham library is counting down to the start of the games (as is the website!) which at the time of writing is 133 days.
Thursday 17th March marked the start of the Birmingham 2022 festival which is an ongoing series of events that showcase the diverse and creative talent in the city. The website states ‘Birmingham 2022 Festival is the biggest celebration of creativity ever in the region and one of the largest ever Commonwealth Games cultural programmes’. I watched a jaw-dropping display in Centenary Square on Thursday evening that was masterminded by Motionhouse. This is what we were promised: ‘Featuring Motionhouse’s internationally renowned professional dance-circus company alongside a mass cast of hundreds from Critical Mass, Freewheelin Dance Company, Motionhouse Youth, Sampad and DanceXchange, audiences can expect large-scale immersive action and plenty of thrills as stories, a giant book and characters tumble out of the night sky’ and that is exactly what we got! I couldn’t think of a better way to shout it out loud that the games are coming!
The programme for the festival is varied and comprehensive, so make sure you check the relevant area of the website to find out which events are on and where. There will be activities stretching right through into September.
Finally, there is also a whole page dedicated to Perry, the Birmingham 2022 Bull. Find out all about him, and even download some colouring sheets so the kids can colour him in! Hopefully you will even get to meet him when the games start.
Get involved on social media
You can keep up to date by following the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Instagram account @birminghamcg22. If you click on the story highlights you can follow the journey of the Queens Baton around the world. You can also join in via the ‘pose with Perry’ story highlight and take a photo of yourself with Perry the Bull!
The Facebook page @birmingham2022 is also updated regularly with information about the games.
Where can I buy merchandise?
It is not only Birmingham Commonwealth Games tickets that are still on offer! There are oodles of quality and desirable merchandise options, which can be bought from the main website (see links below) or from the Commonwealth Games shop at the top of New Street in Birmingham City Centre. Top buys are a toy Perry who is the mascot and a BCG22 beanie. Yes, I know it’s coming into spring, but you can save it for any bad hair days and for early morning runs!
Your games ticket includes public transport to the event in your local area so don’t forget to check that out and take advantage of it!
Babies under the age of 18 months do not require a ticket but must not take up a seat.
Keep following me @girlaboutbirmingham for further updates and photos. Yes! I do have my Birmingham Commonwealth Games tickets winging their way to me shortly so get yours sorted and I’ll see you there!