Date: 8th September 2009 at 12:10pm
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A brief look at what Birmingham has to offer, or not, England as its bid to be a host city for the 2018 world cup.

From Vital England:

ENGLAND UNITED – THE WORLD INVITED

Following the excitement and media saturation of the July launch of England’s bid to host the World Cup Finals in 2018 or 2022, it seems to have gone rather quiet. This, I am assured, is because the FA assessors are wandering the country, checking the credentials of the cities vying to be hosts to the games.

Plymouth has now been added to the original 15 cities so that the list now reads:

Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle/Gateshead, Nottingham, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Sheffield and Sunderland.

FIFA require twelve or so stadiums with a minimum of 40,000 capacity for the Group games, including two that hold 80,000 for the opening game and the Final. Generally no more than two stadiums per city are allowed (though it looks as though London might ask for special dispensation to add other grounds to Wembley and The Emirates). So, if the bid is successful, where are you likely to be watching World Cup Football? Wembley (90,000) obviously will hold the Final; the semis are likely to be at Old Trafford (76,212) and The Emirates (60,342) but the other nine grounds are harder to predict. Lord Triesman has made it obvious that he wants as wide a geographical spread as possible so distance from London is probably a plus mark. Local infrastructure will have to include training facilities, base camps and fan parks. Transport links (local, national and international) and accommodation will also be of paramount importance.

So, in no particular order, we look at the current applicants as possible venues.

Birmingham as a city seems to have a head start with Villa Park already meeting the 40,000 criteria and having been used in ’96. The ground though probably falls short on space for advertising and would need some redevelopment in order to meet FIFA’s requirements (yes, I’m serious – Birmingham Post.net 10th Aug.). The city is well practised at hosting international events. The recent list includes the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships, the World Badminton Championships, Gymnastics World Cup Final, Junior Wheelchair Basketball Championships, the Trampoline and Tumbling World Cup Final and the 29th European Athletics Indoor Championships.

Full article: England – World Cup 2018.