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Birmingham spectators: Catalyst for 2022 Commonwealth Games’ success

By Samuel Ifetoye
08 August 2022   |   4:32 am
This year’s Commonwealth Games, tagged Birmingham 2022, has, no doubt, provided residents with the opportunity to come out en masse to support both the government and athletes.

Nigeria’s Ese Brume poses with the scoreboard after setting a new Commonwealth record in the women’s long jump final athletics event at the Alexander Stadium, in Birmingham on day ten of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, central England, on August 7, 2022. (Photo by Ben Stansall / AFP)

This year’s Commonwealth Games, tagged Birmingham 2022, has, no doubt, provided residents with the opportunity to come out en masse to support both the government and athletes.   

   
At every event centre, the presence of Birmingham residents, who wave their country’s flag and clothes with the inscription of England’s national colours, is noticeable. Some will even be seen with faces painted and their bodies acknowledging their support for the competition.  
 
There is, no doubt, that the organisers of the competition are smiling to the bank from tickets sold through several online platforms, as residents trooped to event venues in large numbers.
   
What is intriguing at the Birmingham 2022 is the number of aged men and women, who are in their 80s and 90s, coming out to give their maximum support to the athletes.  

At every exciting occasion, one sees them also shouting and urging their compatriots to come home with the medals. Even the children are not left out in the ecstasy the Games have generated in almost one week since the start of the competition.

   
Speaking with The Guardian, yesterday, in a shuttle bus specially provided by the Games’ organisers of the competition to convey spectators to venues, one Agnes said she was indeed catching fun, and that she also believed the rest are doing the same thing.
  
When The Guardian asked her if she has been part of the Commonwealth Games right from the start of the competition, and how much she has been paying for tickets, she answered, ‘’The prices of tickets actually vary. I think the least goes for £10 for children and you pay as much as £300 for special seats, and we are all enjoying ourselves.
   
‘’I know you guys from other countries are enjoying yourself too because that is the essence of the competition, which is to get to know one another and enjoy ourselves,’’ she said.
   
One notable thing always shown by the indigenes of Birmingham is the pride that their city is the biggest, after London, in England. On enquiry, an immigrant told The Guardian that Birmingham in the actual sense is next to London.  
 
‘’Don’t mind anything an indigene of Manchester City tells you because they think they are next to the city of London, but they are not. Birmingham City, as you can see for yourself and by the time you move around, is a beautiful city and second to London.
 
‘’What makes the city of Manchester more prominent is the two big clubs, Manchester United and Manchester City. These clubs are the ones selling the image of England to the rest of the world in football. And this is massive for the country,’’ a resident said.

At the start of the competition in athletics last Tuesday, the 32,000 capacity of the magnificent Alexander Stadium, which is the main venue of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, was more than 90 per cent filled with fans and everyone showing his or her ticket.
   
And if what The Guardian learnt on fees paid to watch every event at the Games is anything to go by, then the organisers might have cause to appreciate the spectators for also paying to watch the competition unlike those countries where government declare seats free after spending so many public funds without any recourse for profit at the end of competition and profit declared at the end of the day.