A government report has claimed that the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games contributed almost £1.2bn ($1.5bn) to the UK economy, with nearly half of this figure going to the local West Midlands region.

The report also claims that the Games created “22,380 full-time equivalent years of employment,” with Birmingham having seen a 6% increase in visitors due to the Games when compared to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels.

UK Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said: “With over 1.5 million tickets sold, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games was a record-breaking event that is still having a positive impact on the region two years on.

“This report shows that hosting major sporting events in this country boosts growth, creates jobs, and has a lasting social impact for communities, and some of the world’s best athletes will once again descend on Birmingham for the European Athletics Championships in 2026.”

Commonwealth Games Federation president Chris Jenkins added: “The report outlines the positive impact and lasting legacy of the Games, which contributed £1.2bn to the UK economy and £79.5m in social value.

“It drove trade and inward investment, created jobs, and boosted tourism, with visitor numbers to Birmingham and the West Midlands in 2022 the highest on record. From increased civic pride and social cohesion, to promoting community sport participation, the Games were truly transformational.”

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Despite the government’s positive report, there have been doubts over the Games’ positive impact after Birmingham council confirmed in February that it would raise council tax by 21% after declaring itself effectively bankrupt following the fallout of the games.

The Games were backed by £778 million ($962 million) of public funding, with £184 million of that total reportedly having come from Birmingham City Council.

A separate UK government report published in January 2023, meanwhile, claimed that the Games had contributed over £870 million ($1.07 billion) to the UK economy, by that point.

That report found that the games generated £214.6 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) for the city of Birmingham, £453.7 million for the West Midlands, and £870.7 million for the UK overall.