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Concert and football ticket tax plan to pay for 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

Concert and football ticket tax plan to pay for 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

A levy on entertainment tickets for pop concerts, football matches, conferences and major festivals in the West Midlands is being considered as a way of helping Birmingham pay for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

City Council leader Ian Ward said that is one of the options for raising Birmingham’s share of the estimated £750 million cost of hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

He said that talks are underway between the council and NEC Group and that he wants to involve the city’s football and cricket clubs.

The NEC Group owns the Arena Birmingham, the Genting Arena, NEC and ICC, all of which are set to host events during the 2022 Games – including gymnastics, badminton, table tennis and weight lifting.



Table tennis at the NEC

Cllr Ward (Lab, Shard End) has previously ruled out using the council’s revenue budget, the funds used for running city services like libraries, care services and refuse collection, to pay for the Games.

He said that the preferred option would be a hotel tax, a small charge added per person, per night staying in a Birmingham hotel. Such schemes are common abroad.

But an Act of Parliament is needed for this and talks with the Government are ongoing.



Gymnastics at the Barclaycard Arena

Another option is a supplementary charge on business rates. But this is likely to be ruled out as West Midlands Mayor Andy Street is believed to be considering a similar move to fund projects.

Cllr Ward said: “We are still wanting to talk to Government about piloting a hotel tax, the other of a supplementary business rate is unlikely to get over the line.

“I’ve asked the Government to attach it to the annual finance bill as it is would be just a pilot scheme, but they have not yet responded.

“The other thing that we are talking about, and we are in discussions with the NEC about this is a levy on ticket sales for sporting and entertainment events.

“The key to making that work would be to try to get the football clubs on board.”

He said that the levy would be negotiated direct with the businesses and up to them to adopt it. It would then avoid changes in law.

The Government has agreed to cover three-quarters of the estimated £750 million cost of hosting the 2022 Games.

Birmingham City Council, the West Midlands Combined Authority, neighbouring councils, business investment groups, the universities and host venues are working on raising the city’s share of the remaining 25 per cent funding.

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