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The XVIIth Commonwealth Games in Manchester

26th July to 4th August 2002

Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games logo

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.

National Cycling Centre Velodrome City of Manchester Millennium Stadium image Bolton Arena

World Class Sports Facilities

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.

National Squash Centre, Sportcity

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.

Bolton Arena

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.

Belle Vue Leisure Centre

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

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.

The Manchester Aquatics Centre

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.

Wythenshawe Forum

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.

G-MEX (Manchester Central)

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 Central.

Heaton Park

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.

National Cycling Centre

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

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.

City of Manchester Stadium (Etihad Stadium)

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 commercial sponsors.
Now the Etihad Stadium and home to manchester City Football Club.

Event Venues

Venues for the 17 sports events were as follows:
  • Manchester Aquatics Centre:
    Diving, Swimming, Synchronised Swimming.
  • City of Manchester Stadium
    Athletics, Rugby 7s.
  • National Squash Centre, Sportcity
  • Table Tennis Centre, Sportcity
    Table Tennis.
  • International Convention Centre
  • Bolton Arena
  • Wythenshawe Forum Centre
  • Manchester Evening News Arena
    Boxing, Netball.
  • National Cycling Centre
  • G-MEX
    Gymnastics, Judo.
  • Belle Vue Hockey centre
  • Heaton Park
    Lawn Bowls.

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Copyright © John Moss, Papillon Graphics AD 2013 Manchester, United Kingdom - all rights reserved.
This page last updated 6 Feb 12.