“I am pleased to announce Durban as the host of the 2022 Games, the first to be held on African soil. Congratulations,” Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) outgoing president Prince Tunku Imran said after the organisation’s general assembly meeting in Auckland.
Edmonton, the only other bid city, withdrew from the race in February for financial reasons, due to the falling oil-price, but the CGF had followed due process. An evaluation commission led by chairperson Louis Martin had recommended to members they vote in favour of Durban’s bid, and the general assembly stamped their approval.
“Good luck to Durban. We are looking forward to working with you,” said Martin, who was voted in as the new CGF president. “As the evaluation commission, we identified 10 key issues (with the bid proposal), and we are pleased to announce these are already being addressed.”
The bid committee planned to host the most “compact” Games, with most sporting venues situated a few kilometres apart, and they hoped existing infrastructure centred around the Moses Mabhida Stadium would keep costs at a minimum.
The athletes village formed part of the ongoing Cornubia Housing Project, while Moses Mabhida was designed to fit an athletics track. “Now we can accelerate development plans for the city and the region, as well as sport development, so we are excited and I think the city is excited,” said bid committee chairperson Mark Alexander.
“The real work starts now but there will be a lot of opportunities. It will create jobs and skills development for our youth.”
At least 16 codes will be contested at the Games, with the CGF general assembly increasing the group of “core” sports, and the local organising committee can include additional “optional” sports, such as T20 cricket and beach volleyball.
Track cycling does not form part of the plans due to the cost and maintenance of a velodrome.
The 22nd edition of the spectacle is provisionally scheduled to be held between July 18 – 31, 2022.