Picture of an stadium that was used in the Birmingham Commonwealth games


6 mins

Gearing up for Birmingham 2022

December 11, 2023

Our guide to the Commonwealth Games

The adrenaline is racing. Athletes are prepped and ready to perform. And the city is gearing up for a thrilling showcase of sport. The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will soon be kicking off.

With almost 300 events set over 11 days, 5,000 athletes from 72 competing nations and over 13,000 volunteers, this year’s Games are shaping up to be epic.

Driving culture
On top of the global sporting prowess, Birmingham will also host a festival of culture, encouraging about 2.5 million people to get involved in an inspiring programme of creative opportunities across the West Midlands.

Who’ll be first out of the blocks? What new world records will be set? And who on earth is Perry the Bull? Continue reading and find out in our lightning guide to enjoying the Commonwealth Games.

Plus, while we’re talking about setting records, discover how to pay the Birmingham Clean Air Zone charge in just 5 seconds. Now that’s what you call a Personal Best in car management.

What sports are on?

  • Aquatics - Diving, Swimming & Para Swimming
  • Athletics & Para Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball 3x3 & Wheelchair Basketball 3x3
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Boxing
  • Cricket T20
  • Cycling - Mountain Bike & Road Race
  • Cycling - Time Trial
  • Cycling - Track & Para Track
  • Gymnastics - Artistic & Rhythmic
  • Hockey
  • Judo
  • Lawn Bowls & Para Lawn Bowls
  • Netball
  • Para Powerlifting
  • Rugby Sevens
  • Squash
  • Table Tennis & Para Table Tennis
  • Triathlon & Para Triathlon
  • Weightlifting
  • Wrestling

Who’s competing?
From Staffordshire swimmer Adam Peaty to Birmingham-born basketball player Myles Hesson, Birmingham 2022 has an impressive line-up of athletic stars. Joining them will be Brummie gymnast Joe Fraser, Solihull cricketer Amy Jones and over 400 more English athletes that have achieved qualifying performances.

Where are the venues?
The Commonwealth Games will run between Thursday, July 28th and Monday, August 8th 2022 across a dynamic range of venues in the West Midlands. Arenas, stadiums and parks being used for the Games stretch from Coventry to Solihull, Leamington Spa to Sutton Coldfield.

The main sporting action and opening/closing ceremonies will take place in Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr.

Catch every foot-strike, stroke and shoot of the action here:

  • Alexander Stadium, Perry Barr
  • Arena Birmingham, Birmingham
  • Cannock Chase Forest, Rugeley
  • Coventry Arena, Coventry
  • Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham
  • Lee Valley Velopark, Birmingham
  • The NEC, Birmingham
  • Sandwell Aquatics Centre, Smethwick
  • Smithfield, Birmingham
  • Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield
  • University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre, Birmingham
  • Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa
  • Victoria Square, Birmingham
  • Warwick Road Race, Warwickshire
  • West Park, Wolverhampton

Who’s the official mascot?

Named after Perry Barr (a suburban area in North Birmingham and the site of the stadium itself), Perry the Bull is the official Commonwealth Games mascot.

Perry the Bull, mascot for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games

A proper Brummie, he’s a strong, kind, cheeky chap that will be the heartbeat of the Games, overseeing the events and entertaining more than a billion people watching from Australia to India.

What’s the arts festival all about?

The Commonwealth Games isn’t just a stadium event. It aims to inspire the whole city and spread vibrancy and life across high streets, neighbourhoods, parks and waterways with traditional art forms and more abstract bigger picture visions.

The arts festival’s cultural programme will encourage people to explore, play and discover the region’s heritage. Plus, it’ll inspire young people to find ‘common ground’ in the Commonwealth through its three themes:

  • Our place in the Commonwealth
  • The present moment
  • Stories of Birmingham & the West Midlands

The Urban Festival will embrace youth and diversity with music, free running, skateboarding, BMX, street dance and sport climbing.

Zipping between venues means you’ll be all over the city. So, make sure you remember to pay the Clean Air Zone charge unless your vehicle is exempt.

How do I buy tickets?

Tickets to the 2022 Commonwealth Games can be bought through ticket ballots until the end of July. To apply for tickets, create an account on the official Commonwealth Games website. You’ll then be updated on everything Games related and won’t miss out on any of the action.

Will my car be charged driving in the Clean Air Zone?

To meet sustainability goals and create a greener world for tomorrow, Birmingham has a Clean Air Zone (CAZ).

The CAZ covers all roads within the A4540 Middleway Ring Road, but not the Middleway itself. This includes the A38 and tunnels. The zone operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you’re heading to watch the events in Birmingham, these are the venues that would fall within the Clean Air Zone:

  • Arena Birmingham, Birmingham
  • Smithfield, Birmingham
  • Victoria Square, Birmingham
map of the Birmingham Clean Air Zone

Driving in those zones means you’ll incur a fee unless your vehicle is exempt. If your vehicle meets the following emissions standards, you will not need to pay the daily CAZ charge:

  • Euro 6 (VI) or better for diesel engines
  • Euro 4 or better for petrol engines
  • For diesel / petrol electric hybrids, the vehicle should meet the relevant emission standards
  • Fully electric or hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles will not need to pay the charge

Still unsure? You can read more about the Birmingham CAZ and check whether your vehicle will be charged here.

Lee Valley Velopark, London falls under the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ). You can check if you're exempt from this charge by downloading the Caura app and entering your vehicle registration number.

How can I pay CAZ charges quickly and easily?

Just like the athletes, the app is performance-ready, enabling you to hurdle over complex obstacles on the road ahead.

From tolls to taxes, MOTs to insurance, Caura covers everything under one hood. Our unified app tracks, pays and never forgets. So, you can get on with enjoying the open road. Check it out here.

Birmingham CAZ charge in the Caura app and payment success screen

You can also follow us on our social media channels for regular updates, new app features and so much more! Find the links below:

*Image credit Flickr user cattan 2011


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