Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid has spoken of his optimism over staging next year’s Commonwealth Games at full capacity and expects there to be a "huge" appetite for tickets despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United Kingdom has been one of world’s worst hit countries from coronavirus having recorded more than 120,000 fatalities - the highest death toll in Europe.
But the UK Government hope to lift all COVID-19 restrictions in England by June 21, depending on the success of vaccines and the level of infections.
Reid felt the outlook was "a lot more positive" thanks to the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and said he was "really confident" of being able to permit fans at next year’s Games.
"It’s obviously really helpful for us that there are a lot of events starting to think about how they can get spectators back in during this calendar year," said Reid.
"We have got another year after that so that makes the whole landscape a lot more positive.
"Everything coming from all our stakeholders and, most importantly, the DCMS (Department of Culture, Media and Sport), is around supporting that journey back, and they recognise the importance of our event next year in which they hope will be a year of celebrations.
"That’s how we are planning to deliver the event.
"Of course, it would be remiss of us if we weren’t also looking at various scenarios and making sure we have got all the appropriate plans in place to make sure this is a safe environment for everybody, whether that’s athletes, officials, spectators and the workforce.
"But we are sitting here now really confident that we will get back to full stadia and there will be full live sites as well."
Sandwell Aquatics Centre dive tower?— Birmingham 2022 (@birminghamcg22) February 10, 2021
Completed it, mate. ✅ pic.twitter.com/olInjFSd0z
After being postponed to 2021 due to the global health crisis, the Olympic and Paralympic Games are scheduled to go ahead in Japanese capital Tokyo this year, with a series of COVID-19 countermeasures in place.
Reid said Birmingham 2022 had a "small group of people" who will monitor the Games along with the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics to see how organisers overcome the challenges of staging a multi-sport event.
"We are fortunate that there will be other events taking place well in advance of us who perhaps are in more of a challenging COVID environment," said Reid.
"The most important thing is to make sure we get athletes and officials to the event safely and they can complete safely.
"We are getting huge support from all of our partners.
"We have got some really good people working on it.
"The absolute [best] scenario that we are working to is that this will be based on full stadiums and full live sites."
More than one million tickets are expected to be issued for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, scheduled to run from July 28 to August 8 in 2022.
Reid believes the interest in Birmingham 2022 tickets is growing and expects to release them to the public later this year.
"In relation to ticketing, we are aiming for the summer and that is as much detail as I can give you for now because we want to go at the right time," said Reid.
"There are a number of factors why.
"One of which is monitoring the COVID environment and the appetite for ticket buying.
"It is a complex situation.
"It will undoubtedly be a ballot-type system…but there is a huge amount of work going on.
"Hopefully by the summer we will be at a point where people are starting to realise that they can physically come back into venues and we expect the appetite to be huge.
"The great thing about the UK is that even when coming out of a pandemic, we know that the public just love multi-sport events.
"We are expecting the same sort of appetite and can’t wait to give the public those options over the summer."