An evaluation report on Birmingham 2022 was produced by Quantum Consultancy, finding the World Games delivered a "successful legacy" ©The World Games

An evaluation report from the Birmingham 2022 World Games has found that it generated an overall economic impact of $165 million (£136 million/€154 million), although this is significantly down from original estimates from when the American city was awarded the event in 2015.

However, expenditure by the Organising Committee as of November 2022 was $66.4 million (£54.6 million/€61.9 million), which was less than the $75 million (£61.7 million/€69.9 million) estimated as part of Birmingham's bid.

It plans to satisfy all remaining debts by the end of March.

The direct economic impact was calculated at $11.7 million (£9.6 million/€10.9 million), and related tourism expenditure is estimated at $10.2 million (£8.4 million/€9.5 million).

Organisers had hoped the Games could bring a $256.6 million (£210.8 million/€239.1 million) economic boost to the region, but preparation was beset by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to it being postponed by one year from 2021.

The event evaluation report commissioned by the International World Games Association (IWGA) and Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee was produced by Quantum Consultancy.

It found that despite the COVID-19 challenges, the Games "delivered a successful legacy for the City of Birmingham and has helped to place and redefine the city on the global map".

A total of 140,217 ticketed spectators watched events and an additional 24,400 attended the World Games Plaza.

The Organising Committee sold 115,928 tickets, with an additional 227,038 tickets purchased by sponsors as part of a corporate package and 34,487 distributed free of charge.

A total of 140,217 ticketed spectators attended events at the Birmingham 2022 World Games ©The World Games
A total of 140,217 ticketed spectators attended events at the Birmingham 2022 World Games ©The World Games

However, COVID-19 travel restrictions were blamed for lower-than-expected international visitors, with 13,521 "out-of-town" spectators travelling to Birmingham for the Games.

Unique spectator attendance is estimated at 38,261, of whom 33.6 per cent were from outside the Birmingham-Jefferson County area including 2.7 per cent from overseas.

Extreme weather conditions, including a heatwave and two days of storms, are also believed to have had an impact on attendance figures.

The report additionally outlines the impact of the war in Ukraine and inflation rates on preparations for the Games.

Spectators recorded a 91 per cent satisfaction rating from their visit to Birmingham based on 2,600 responses, and athletes delivered an 86 per cent satisfaction verdict.

Eighty-one per cent of spectator respondents rated Birmingham "good" or "very good" as a host.

Other key statistics from the report including a television audience reach of 268 million people across 61 territories, 558,000 video views on the Olympic Channel and a social media reach of 335 million users.

The report also claimed that the World Games "confirmed Birmingham’s credentials as a capable host of major events".

IWGA chief executive Joachim Gossow said
IWGA chief executive Joachim Gossow said "the organisation was particularly pleased with the high level of consumer satisfaction" ©IWGA/Quantum Consultancy

"The World Games 2022 gave us the opportunity to showcase Birmingham as a truly international city that is innovative, dynamic and open for business," said Organising Committee chair Jonathan Porter.

"Some visitors may have had a preconceived notion of what to expect and we changed the perspective of how the people see Birmingham and the state of Alabama."

Organising Committee chief executive Nick Sellers expressed his belief that it had adapted well to the challenges.

"Despite the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic, war in Ukraine and record inflation, the World Games 2022 successfully elevated the image of Birmingham and the State of Alabama around the world," he said.

"Most notably, the athletes, fans, and sponsors had a highly favourable experience.

"And that is a tribute to our corporate and public sector partners, Organising Committee staff and public safety officials, and over 7,000 volunteers who worked tirelessly to help deliver this special moment.

"In addition to the noteworthy highlights, there were many learnings which will make our community better prepared to host major national and international events in the future."

A total of 223 medal events were held at the Birmingham 2022 World Games ©The World Games
A total of 223 medal events were held at the Birmingham 2022 World Games ©The World Games

IWGA chief executive Joachim Gossow was pleased with the athlete satisfaction figures.

"We are particularly pleased with the high level of athlete satisfaction with the event," he commented.

"Eighty-six per cent said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the TWG [The World Games] 2022.

"This is significant for us because one of our principles is that we want to put the athletes at the centre and offer them competition conditions of the highest level.

"We have succeeded in doing that in cooperation with our participating Member Federations, the expertise of our partner service providers and the BOC [Birmingham Organising Committee]."

Gossow also revealed that the IWGA has asked for a series of recommendations from Quantum Consultancy to take into the next edition of the World Games in Chengdu in 2025.

Birmingham 2022 was held from July 7 to 18, featuring 223 medal events for the 3,457 athletes from 99 nations.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus were barred by the IWGA, in line with recommendations from the International Olympic Committee.