The XVIIth Commonwealth Games in Manchester
Manchester intended from the outset to stage the
most successful Commonwealth Games ever, beginning with an Opening Ceremony,
attended by Her Majesty the Queen, and taking place in the new purpose-built
City of Manchester Stadium at Sportcity on the evening of Thursday 25th
July, 2002. Most authorities agree that in this intention the City of
Manchester handsomely succeeded in holding the biggest and best Commonwealth
Games to date.
The Games ran for ten days from Friday 26th July to Sunday 4th August,
with the final track and field events in the new Stadium prior to the
Closing Ceremony. 17 sports were represented with over 4000 competitors
coming from 72 nations within the British Commonwealth. Around one million
visitors are thought to have come to Manchester to see the event live
and the world television audience was estimated to top one billion.
Extensive sports facilities were built specially for
the Games. These facilities provided world-class venues for visiting
sportsmen and sportswomen, as well as for the local community who were
to inherit these facilities after the games finished. This was for its
time the largest Commonwealth Games ever staged, and was widely stated
to be the best sports event ever held in the United Kingdom.
The newly created National Squash Centre later became
the new home of the Squash Racquets Association with six new permanent
fixed courts and one moveable show.
The Bolton Arena was a major new development which
had been built alongside the Bolton Wanderer's Football Club's Reebok
Stadium, at Horwich, just outside Bolton. The Arena cost around £15
Million to build, and was the base for the Badminton competition. Spectator
capacity is around 3,500.
The Commonwealth Games Hockey competition took place
at the Belle Vue Leisure Centre. This venue was chosen in consultation
with the English Hockey Association. Belle Vue is located about 15 minutes
from the Games Village and 5 minutes from Sportcity. The centre underwent
a £3 million makeover for the Games, and includes 2 water-based hockey
pitches, an indoor sports hall with 8 badminton courts (to international
standards), health and fitness facilities, a cricket training school,
and a multimedia conference centre.
The Manchester Evening News Arena boasts that is "the
biggest multipurpose indoor entertainment/sports arena in Europe". It
has played host to a variety of international sporting events including
basketball and ice hockey. It also hosts major musical events of both
classical and popular genres, and can seat between 7000 and 21,000 people.
It has full TV broadcasting and recording facilities. The Netball and
Boxing (semi-finals & finals) competitions were staged here.
This £30 million purpose-built swimming pool complex
is located in the University campus on Oxford Road, half a mile south
of the city centre. Opened in October 2000, the Aquatics Centre provides
the City with 2 Olympic standard main pools where Swimming, Diving and
Synchronised Swimming events took place. There is also an additional
50 metre training pool for athlete training. It seats an audience of
some 2500 persons.
The Wythenshawe Forum is located close to Manchester
Airport and the motorway network and staged the preliminary rounds of
the boxing as well as providing all boxing training facilities. There
exists a practice hall and competition ring.
The former G-MEX, the Greater Manchester Exhibition
and Event Centre, is a reincarnation of the old defunct Central Railway
Station which was renovated and lovingly restored in the early 1990s.
This huge modern Manchester venue hosts numerous exhibitions, pop and
rock concerts, fairs and shows. The Artistic Gymnastics, Judo and Wrestling
competitions were held here. Now reverted to the original name of Manchester
Heaton Park is Manchester's largest municipal Park,
perhaps the biggest in Europe. Heaton Hall itself is a Grade II listed
building, set in over 600 acres of trees and open parkland. Located
some 20 minutes north of the city centre, it is easily accessible from
the city centre, however, by frequent bus services, and a conveniently
located Metrolink tram station opposite. A dedicated sports area has
been created here as part of a £32 million restoration of the park.
Facilities include 4 flat greens for the Lawn Bowls competitions.
Manchester Velodrome is an internationally recognised
venue for. Developed as a joint venture between the English Sports Council,
Manchester City Council and the British Cycling Federation is one of
only two centres to receive the accreditation of the British Olympic
Association The track was designed and built by R V Webb Limited and
can seat up to 3,500 people, as well as providing hospitality boxes
and facilities for VIPs, officials and media.
Salford Quays was the venue for the triathlon. The
Quays were part of a massive urban regeneration programme over several
years which also included the building of the celebrated Lowry Centre
and the Imperial War Museum North. On-site watersports facilities are
under development. Located just outside City Centre Manchester with
direct Metrolink access from the city as well as frequent bus services.
Theformer City of Manchester Stadium is located at
the centre of Sportcity in the Eastlands area of the town. It cost some
£90 million to construct and has seating for 38,000 people. It was designed
to provide a backdrop to the Commonwealth Games, and it was here that
the Opening and Closing Ceremonies took place, attended by Her Majesty
the Queen. The entire Athletics programme and the Rugby 7's competition
took place here. The stadium has subsequently become the new home of
Manchester City Football Club since 2003.
Situated within 2 miles of the Games Village, hotels and the Media Centre.
The stadium forms the centrepiece of an extensive sports complex, now
known as Sportcity, which also includes the National Cycling Centre,
Squash and Table Tennis centres. Around £170 million was provided
by Manchester City Council, the Sport England Lottery Fund and the various
Now the Etihad Stadium and home to manchester City Football Club.
- Manchester Aquatics Centre:
Diving, Swimming, Synchronised Swimming.
- City of Manchester Stadium
Athletics, Rugby 7s.
- National Squash Centre,
- Table Tennis Centre, Sportcity
- International Convention
- Bolton Arena
- Wythenshawe Forum Centre
- Manchester Evening News
- National Cycling Centre
- Belle Vue Hockey centre
- Heaton Park