Villa Park: Spectacular 2022 venue

Published: Tuesday, 8th August 2017

Rugby 7s is a fantastic showcase of sport, demonstrating energy, skill and passion, with both players and fans actively engaging in the game.

As one of the Midlands’ premier sports stadiums that successfully hosted Rugby World Cup fixtures for the 2015 Championship, Villa Park Stadium, with 42,700 seats and home to English Football League club Aston Villa, was the obvious choice for hosting Rugby 7s, as part of Birmingham’s 2022 Commonwealth Games bid.

Aston Villa Chief Executive, Keith Wyness, is fully backing Birmingham’s bid and believes the venue will host a spectacular Rugby 7s tournament:

“Villa Park is a great sporting venue and an iconic Midlands sports institute. It has an amazing sporting history dating back to the 1900s and, as well as our regular football fixtures and the two Rugby World Cup 2015 matches, we have hosted many major events over the years, from boxing matches to concerts for music legends such as Springsteen and Take That.

“Rugby 7s is a fantastic event, providing a great day out for sports fans. I am sure that many Villa fans would want to be there and will be thrilled that Villa Park is playing a role.

“Our players and coaching staff would also welcome the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. There will be great opportunities to share information in the pursuit of sporting excellence and it would just be fantastic to be part of the event.

“Everybody at Villa Park said that hosting the Rugby World Cup was one of the most fulfilling things we have done for our community. We are a great community based club and it is important that we play our part in delivering the best ever Games in 2022.

“Being part of Team Birmingham and helping to bring the Commonwealth Games to Birmingham is something we are proud to be doing. This will be another first for Villa and we look forward to playing our role.

“I spent five years managing The Olympic Club for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and then seven years on the board of the SECC Hydro Arena, which was a focal point for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. I have seen multi-sport events close up and know the amazing effect they can have and the positive impact they can bring to a host city.

“It is fantastic to be part of Birmingham’s Bid and with the role of the Commonwealth likely to become more important for Britain going forward, we will do all we can to bring the Games here.

“Bring it on!”

Villa players agree and cannot wait to see the Games come to Birmingham. Aston Villa FC and Wales national team player, James Chester said:

“Villa Park is one of the most inspiring stadiums a sportsperson could wish to compete in. It is both a traditional and iconic arena.

“Emerging from the tunnel and walking out into a wall of noise from all four stands is an uplifting experience. The Rugby 7s teams will have an incredible experience playing at Villa Park during Birmingham 2022 so let’s back the bid. ”

James Rodwell is England’s most capped Rugby 7s player of all time. He won a Silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the sport’s inaugural Games and is a two-times Commonwealth Games player (Delhi 2010, Glasgow 2014). Having studied at University of Birmingham and played for Moseley Rugby Club, Rodwell is championing Birmingham’s bid:

“Rugby 7s is one of the most popular events at the Commonwealth Games. The atmosphere is electric and the fans get passionately involved so, as a player, it is an amazing experience to be part of. I have great memories of competing at the Commonwealth Games and would love to be representing England at Villa Park in 2022. Rugby fans who watched the Rugby World Cup fixtures at Villa Park will agree it was sensational. Let’s back Birmingham 2022 so we can recreate that again.”

Backing #BrumBid2022

How you can support Birmingham 2022:

  • Follow us on Twitter (@birminghamcg22)
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About the Birmingham 2022 Bid

Sitting at the heart of the UK, and standing for the diversity of the Commonwealth, Birmingham is well positioned to attract people to the Games and to ensure that the benefits of hosting extend from the city and the region, to the UK, to the Commonwealth. The advancement of the UK’s global role and the Commonwealth movement is integral to our vision of Birmingham: heart of the UK, soul of the Commonwealth.

Birmingham 2022 will comprise 20 sports taking place across 19 venues. These sports and venues were selected following careful assessment of Commonwealth Games Federation guidelines regarding athletes’ needs, the technical specifications, seating capacity and Games-time logistics.

As part of the selection process, the bid committee looked closely at how to utilise Birmingham’s wealth of existing sports venues and facilities, ensuring connectivity and accessibility and maximising spectator numbers.

The list of sports below showcases all those we have announced publicly so far. More sports and venues will be announced in due course:

Sports and venues announced publicly so far



Athletics, incl Para

Alexander Stadium

Aquatics, incl Para and Diving

New Sandwell Aquatics Centre


Genting Arena


NEC Hall 1

Gymnastics (Artistic and Rhythmic)

Barclaycard Arena


University of Birmingham


NEC Hall 4


Ericsson Indoor Arena, at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry

Rugby 7s

Villa Park Stadium


University of Birmingham

Table Tennis, incl Para

NEC Hall 5

Weightlifting and Para Powerlifting

Symphony Hall

Wrestling (freestyle)

NEC Hall 4

Birmingham’s bid has the full support of the wider Midlands region, including: Birmingham City Council; three regional local enterprise partnerships: Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP; Black Country LEP; Coventry and Warwickshire LEP; the West Midlands Combined Authority and the newly elected Mayor of West Midlands, Andy Street; the West Midlands Growth Company; and the Midlands Engine. In addition, Birmingham’s bid is supported by The Birmingham Commonwealth Association.

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