Commonwealth Games 2022: 50 fascinating facts on 50 days to go

There’s less than two months to the Commonwealth Games - here’s all you need to know as the countdown to Birmingham 2022 continues

With 50 days to go to the Commonwealth Games from today (Wednesday, June 14) excitement is building as Birmingham is set to be showcased to the world.

It is the biggest event that Birmingham has ever staged - and the biggest one to come to England in a decade. Thousands of visitors are expected to visit the city to watch the spectacle with many Birmingham hotels already booked out. Another billion are due to view all the action as it is televised around the world.

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As there are so many events there will also be disruption for local residents going about their daily business and Birmingham 2022 organisers have a wealth of information to help you to get ready for the Games.

As the countdown continues we’ve got 50 updates on what to expect for Birmingham 2022 - including a lowdown on the sports, how to get tickets, number of visitors to Birmingham and the West Midlands and more.

50 Commonwealth Games fascinating facts with 50 days to go

1. 72 nations and territories are planning to send teams to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

2. Around 6,500 athletes and team officials will be coming to Birmingham for the Games

3. There are 19 sports and eight Para sports that will feature making it the biggest sports programme ever for a Commonwealth Games

4. Women’s cricket will be included for the first time, and it is the first time that T20 cricket has ever been included in the Commonwealth Games

5. Although the full court, five aside version of basketball has been included before, this will be the first time basketball 3x3 has featured

6. Wheelchair basketball 3x3 has also been included in the Games for the very first time

7. The addition of wheelchair basketball means there will be more Para sport than ever before

8. At the Commonwealth Games, Para sport is integrated into the sports programme, so if you have tickets for sports like swimming or athletics you will get to see Para athletics and Para swimming too

9. For the first time ever mixed synchronised diving has been included in the Commonwealth Games

Diamond League at Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr

10. Beach volleyball will be taking place for only the second time at the Commonwealth Games and this sport was added to the Birmingham 2022 sports programme in August 2019

11. The Solomon Islands women’s team will take part in beach volleyball for the first time. In the men’s competition there will be Commonwealth Games debuts for Rwanda, South Africa and the Maldives

12. 54 hockey matches will take place during the Games and these will all be held at the University of Birmingham

13. Across the 11 days of sport there will be 286 different sessions of sport

14. There will be two super Sundays at Birmingham 2022 and the second super Sunday is a huge day for women’s team sport featuring the women’s cricket T20 final, the netball final and the women’s hockey final

15. There are 280 different medal events included at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

16. There are more medal events for women than men for the first time ever at a major multi-sport event

17. The first medals of the Games are expected to be won at Sutton Park in the triathlon events

A cyclist tests out the new trail at Cannock Chase Forest ahead of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

18. There are 15 venues in total and 14 of these are in the West Midlands

19. Sandwell Aquatics Centre is the only brand new venue and after the Games it will be converted into a community leisure facility

20. One of the key venues is the Alexander Stadium and this venue has undergone a £72 million transformation

21. Three parks are included on the venue list - West Park in Wolverhampton, Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield and Victoria Park in Royal Leamington Spa 

22. Two temporary venues are being built at Smithfield – there will be one for the basketball events and one for beach volleyball

23. Training venues have been selected for eleven different sports including triathlon, rhythmic gymnastics and rugby sevens

24. One of the training venues is Wyndley Leisure Centre which will host training for both hockey and triathlon/Para triathlon. The facilities have been upgraded and a new international standard hockey pitch has been installed

25. Moseley Cricket Club is also being upgraded ahead of its use as a training venue for the Games. The playing surface will replicate the surface at Edgbaston Stadium, to provide the best possible training facilities

Perry the Bull is the official mascot for the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham

26. The official mascot for the Games is Perry the bull who was created from the design of a ten year old girl

27. Perry has so far visited more than 120 schools in the West Midlands region, taking part in fun and active assemblies to entertain school pupils and increase awareness of the Games amongst young people

28. Around 14,000 volunteers will be helping to make sure that the Games runs smoothly – more than 41,000 people applied to be a volunteer

29. Birmingham 2022 has been part of more than 50 community hub events and 60 community roadshows - the roadshows alone have reached more than 150,000 local residents

30. The volunteers for the Games are known as the Commonwealth Collective

31. Three students from the School of Jewellery have designed the medals, ribbons and boxes that will be awarded to athletes at the Games

32. The gold, silver and bronze medals are being made in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter

Batonbearer Tessa Sanderson CBE carries the Queen’s Baton during the Birmingham 2022 Queen's Baton Relay at the Tower of London

33. The Queen’s Baton Relay started on 7 October 2021 and will finish when the baton arrives in the Alexander Stadium on 28 July which means the relay will last a total of 294 days

34. The Queen’s Baton Relay is covering approximately 90,000 miles (140,000 kilometres) and there are 7,500 Batonbearers carrying the baton on the international journey

35. The final leg of the journey will see the Queen’s Baton Relay visit 180 communities in England across 25 days, 11 of which will be in the West Midlands

36. In England, there will be over 2,000 Batonbearers carrying the Baton through the country

37. The Opening Ceremony for the Games will take place on 28 July in the Alexander Stadium

Sonia Sabri leads dancers at the Opening Ceremony rehearsal for the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham

38. The Opening Ceremony will have a live audience of around 30,000 people and is expected to have a TV audience of around one billion

39. 3,500 costumes are being made for the ceremonies

40. 19,000 individual costume items will be made for the ceremonies and around 10,000 metres of fabric will be used

41. More than 2,000 volunteers will be taking part in the Opening and Closing Ceremony

42. Birmingham 2022 festival is six months long – it started in March and will finish in September

43. The Birmingham 2022 Festival includes 46 ambitious new artistic commissions and over 50 alignment projects

44. The Birmingham 2022 festival includes more than 100 different community events which have been funded through the Creative City grants

The newly transformed Alexander Stadium ahead of the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham

45. Seven neighbourhood festival sites will be open at Games time and this includes the first ever relaxed festival site which will be located at Sense Touchbase Pears

46. Thanks to the Games, Holford Drive Community Sports Hub is receiving £500,000 of funding to help strengthen the Commonwealth Games legacy

47. Birmingham 2022 will be the first Commonwealth Games to leave a carbon-neutral legacy

48. With the help of Severn Trent, 2022 acres of forest will be planted to achieve a carbon-neutral legacy for the Games

49. The Closing Ceremony, a huge party to celebrate the end of the Games, will be staged at the Alexander Stadium on Monday 8 August

50. More than one million tickets have already been sold for the Games. The remaining tickets are available now

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A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.