Wayne Rooney has backed Liverpool’s bid to become the host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The boyhood Evertonian, who is England’s all-time record goal scorer and second most-capped player, endorsed the bid by his hometown city which this week was recognised as the UK’s Greatest Sporting City by ESPN in a study backed by research by the University of Bath.
World cruiserweight champion and fellow Evertonian Tony Bellew has also extended his support to the bid, as have Olympic heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Commonwealth Games medallists Steve Parry and Beth Tweddle.
Premier League and Champions League winner Rooney believes Liverpool would be an excellent host city for the Commonwealth Games in 2022, with a strong passion for sport being synonymous with a place which was European Capital of Culture in 2008.
Rooney said: “I’m proud to be in a position to back our city’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and I have no doubt that Liverpool would be the perfect host city.
“People’s passion for football within the city is recognised around the world but we also have a rich sporting tradition in the boxing ring, on our golf courses which have staged Open Championships, in athletics and, of course, Liverpool stages the jewel in the crown of National Hunt horseracing every year at Aintree, the Grand National.
“Bringing the Commonwealth Games to the city would be fantastic and fitting, showcasing again to the world what a great city Liverpool is and I support the bid wholeheartedly.”
The Blues’ proposed new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock is the centrepiece of the city’s bid as the stage for athletics, with the athletes village based at the neighbouring Nelson and Stanley Docks.
It is estimated that a successful bid will accelerate £1bn worth of investment in the regeneration of the city’s north docks 10 years ahead of schedule, and create more than 12,000 jobs.
Mayor Joe Anderson explained: “The opportunity for Everton’s new home to play a key role in the Commonwealth Games is a very exciting one for our city and the Club, presenting the opportunity to showcase our sporting pedigree, our waterfront and all our city has to offer to audiences across the world.
“I know that everyone at the Club – not least the Chairman and Mr Moshiri, who I am in regular contact with – is absolutely committed to replicating the intimacy, fan proximity and atmosphere of Goodison Park at our new home. I share that commitment and we won’t make the mistakes others have made. Our plan is to install a temporary track.
“Just like it would be if the Club was hosting a concert or another sporting event, the infrastructure will be temporary, with all the costs of installation and removal met by the Games. The Club’s new stadium will be purpose-built as a football stadium for generations of Everton fans to enjoy, keeping the intimate atmosphere and close-to-the-pitch feel that our games are famous for. The running track, and other Games infrastructure will be temporary in nature and will not permanently influence the stadium’s design, capacity or configuration.
“During the Commonwealth Games in 2022 our plan is to host a transformational event that will showcase Liverpool at its very best to a global TV audience of more than 1bn people.
“I hope you will share my excitement about the fantastic impact the Commonwealth Games would have, not only in terms of profile, but also in regenerating both the waterfront and the wider city region. And, of course, our commitment to working with the Club to deliver the world-class, iconic waterfront stadium that all Evertonians will be proud to call home will not be compromised in any way.
“I would encourage every Evertonian to support our bid. Bringing the 2022 Commonwealth Games to Liverpool would be a real game-changer for the city.”
Show your support for Liverpool’s 2022 bid by following it on Twitter @LiverpoolCG22 or on Facebook at facebook.com/liverpoolcg22.
For more info please go to the bid website: liverpoolcg22.org.