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Old Posted Jun 19, 2007, 10:13 AM
Citrus-Fruit Citrus-Fruit is offline
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Originally Posted by BenL View Post
I'd accept that Manchester's renaissance has been very recent and until the late 1990s Birmingham was the UK's undisputed second city. I'm a bit unsure about your statistics - surely New York, Milan, Paris and London have considerably bigger fashion shows than Birmingham;

London is certainly more used than Birmingham for sport and Manchester's sporting history is far superior to Birmingham's with a 76,000 and 49,000 capacity stadiums and one of the world's most famous football clubs. Manchester has recently hosted a highly successful Commenwealth Games.
Birmingham hosts more domestic and international sporting events then any other city. It was the first city to be given the National City of Sport aswell as the first UK city to be awarded European City of Sport For All.

Manchesters sporting history is not far superior. Birmingham was the home of lawn tennis AKA Wimbledon - only last week Sharapova and Jankovic battled it out in the final for the DFS classic title in Edgbaston. It had 3 of the founder members of the football league (AKA The biggest sporting league in the world) - Manchester currently has a much more succesful team then Birmingham in United but that could all change within the next few years not to mention Brum has 3 big teams to Manchesters 2 and another 1 former great just 6 miles away in Wolverhampton Wanderers with all teams having plans to expand the stadiums including Birmingham which will build thiers for both the World Athletic Championships and Commonwealth Games bids. Its home to the Belfry - one of the most famous golf courses in the world used for the Ryder cup, Birminghams hosts the Davis Cup, IAAF Grand Prixs, Olympic Trials etc etc - it also just won the world trampolining and gymnastic championships for 2011 which was decided in Toronto a few weeks ago.

Manchester might have held the Commonwealth games, but Birmingham in the last 10 years has hosted the European Indoors Twice aswell as the World Indoors - G8 Summit, Eurovision Song Contest the first city outside London to host the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.

the BBC is considering it the "second city" - moving a large part of its operation to Salford and the UK's first "supercasino" went to Manchester ahead of many other cities, including Birmingham. It can also boast to have the tallest residential tower in the UK and Britain's largest arena.
Land is the reason for the BBC not to mention Manchesters location. BBC however has 2 departments located in Brum including its BBC Regional Programmes based within the city. I dont see a HK tycoon billionaire hoping to fund a Sporting Village within the city? The UK's first super casino went to Manchester, argued immensly in Commons now on the rails and not likely to happen. Birmingham didnt put a bid forward as it had to local operators aiming to beat one another - NEC did however win a Casino. Birmingham apart from Las Vegas is the only city to have 2 arenas in the top 100 in the world. NEC is the 7th largest complex in Europe and holds more events then any complex within the UK. NIA is a more nationally important arena then Manchesters and is the reason why the sports department and the IAA continue to operate through the city.

Now, there are ins and outs to each milestone, but it does lead to an improved perception of Manchester as a modern, forward-thinking city, an impression I certainly get whenever I visit.
Well considering Birmingham was recently rewarded the Euroopean city of the future title last year that argument seems pretty much answered.

I cannot see the "second-city" tag to be a clear one in the near future and in a country with such an obvious primary city in London, it may not matter that much. Let's not let this turn into a city versus city, but I do think your claim that Birmingham could be a major European city is rather weak.
Err, its the 41st richest city in the world, One of the top shopping destinations in Europe, 2nd largest city in the worlds 5th largest economy, It has every initention of becoming a leading European city and so it should. Infact if I were to list what Birmingham has done for Europe already you would see its been one of the most influential cities of the conitnent and still is. From Cadbury to Aston Martin, Mini, to Football Leagues, Odeon Cinema to Whistles, Baskerville Type Face to Steam Engine, Copying Machine to Hydraulic Ram, Custard Powder to Gas Lighting, Transatlantic Telegraph Cable to the Duplex Lamp, Stapler to Radiograph for X-Rays, JR Tolkien and the LOTR to Smoke Detector, Brylcreem to Windscreen Wipers, Magnatron (used now in Microwaves/Radars) to the UKS first hole in heart operation. Could go on but its ignored by the majority. One things for sure though its been a major European city for some time, it just needs to regain that which its trying to do after it was knocked off its feet after the war.
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