Liverpool launches bid to host 2026 Commonwealth Games
Liverpool has officially launched a bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, with a team of advisers appointed to spearhead the project.
The bid also sets out the city's interest in hosting the event in 2022, following Durban's withdrawal in March.
Sports executive Brian Barwick will chair the bid alongside teams employed to design branding and plan logistics.
Liverpool City Council said it could potentially involve Everton's planned new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock.
- Durban will not host 2022 Commonwealth Games
- Manchester 'ready to help' stage 2022 Games
- Everton agree deal for new stadium site
A council spokeswoman said plans were at an early stage, but the possibility of building a running track at the ground was likely to be discussed.
The city already has a 50m Olympic-standard pool in Wavertree, but no diving or training pool.
A velodrome would also have to be built to accommodate cycling, while Liverpool Arena could be used to host other events.
A budget of £500,000 has been set aside for the campaign, and an "intense 3-6 month period of activity" would now begin under the banner Team Liverpool, the council said.
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said the city had sent out "a powerful message that we are deadly serious about bidding for the games".
"The Commonwealth Games has the potential to be a game changer in further driving forward the city's regeneration and renaissance," he said.
Mr Barwick, 62, is chairman of the Rugby Football League, a member of the FA Council, and has worked on previous international bids for sports events including the Olympic Games and the World Cup.
The former head of BBC Sport said: "The chance to lead the work for my home city of Liverpool to host the Commonwealth Games is a huge privilege."
Local sporting stars including heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, boxer Tony Bellew, gymnast Beth Tweddle and former footballer Jamie Carragher have backed the campaign.
London and Birmingham have expressed interest in staging the event, while Manchester, which hosted the games in 2002, has said it would be "ready to help".