“It’s difficult to measure, but I think that the Games resulted in more ambition and more pride in the region. It’s intangible, but the joy the people showed in showcasing Birmingham to the world, to millions of visitors and hundreds of millions watching on TV, was honouring to be a part of.” said Ian Reid, former CEO of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

He continued: “For people in Birmingham and the West Midlands, it was so special. We had so many humbling emails and letters from people during and after the Games, talking about how much pride they had experienced during the event.”

Dame Louise Martin, President of the CGF, agrees that the Birmingham Games will have a  lasting impact on the whole Commonwealth Sport Movement.

She said: “Across the Commonwealth, people have expressed how much they loved the event, from the thrilling sporting action and inspiring Festival to the unforgettable Ozzy Osbourne and his now namesake, Raging Bull. Our Commonwealth Games Associations have been in total agreement about the meaningful impact of the Games on their athletes.

“It was wonderful, to see the smiles on people’s faces and to receive such positive feedback about what the event has done for the city and the region. A vibrant and inspirational Games, it leaves a lasting and evolving legacy, accelerating regeneration and investment, and putting Birmingham firmly on the global map.” 

More than 1.4m tickets were sold for the Games, making it the best attended Commonwealth Games to ever take place in the United Kingdom. And, with the Opening and closing Ceremonies broadcast live to 134 countries, the Games enhanced the region and UK’s profile as a destination for tourism, trade and investment.  While a UK Government report in January 2023 revealed that the Games contributed £870m to the UK economy, £453m of which directly benefited businesses and communities across Birmingham and the West Midlands. 

To celebrate the anniversary, the city is set to host Birmingham Festival 23 over ten days from 28 July - 6 August, a free, family friendly event in Centenary Square which will feature live music, entertainment and have-a-go sporting fun for all.

The original Birmingham 2022 Festival hosted an audience of more than 2.4m people over a six month period, while 750,000 visited the nine free Festival sites during the Games. In total it attracted more than £100m in direct economic impact. 

The vast majority of venues used for the Games were existing, established, sporting venues, including Alexandra Stadium, host of the athletics and para athletics and University of Birmingham, host of the hockey events. 

The Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Smethwick, was the exception. It has now completed its planned transition into a public facing facility, with Ellie Simmonds, a five time Paralympic gold medallist from Aldridge, Walsall, officially opening the facility on 25 July. Its fabulous 50m pool, leads the way regionally and nationally as one of the few fully accessible swimming facilities in the world for people with disabilities. It also boasts a large gym, and the UK's biggest dry-dive facility. 

Reid added: “Birmingham was a Games model where it didn’t rebuild, it was used as a catalyst to invest for the population. There were no white elephants, and the Games were delivered on time and under budget.”

The mechanical bull who lit up the Opening Ceremony of the Games has also been unveiled to great fanfare in his new home at Birmingham New Street Station in the heart of the city. Now named Ozzy, after one of the region’s most famous son’s, Ozzy Osbourne, the bull will greet visitors and locals alike as they travel through the city’s major transport hub.

And while Ozzy will draw eyeballs, Reid sees moments like this as signifying the beginning of the lasting impact the Games had on Birmingham and the West Midlands. 

“The most exciting part is that we’re only at the start of the legacy journey,” he added. 

“We’ll know so much more in two-five years about the full effect of Birmingham 2022, and I have no doubt it will continue to grow and grow.”