Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street has welcomed the decision to make Birmingham the UK’s candidate city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The city saw off the challenge of Liverpool to win the backing of the Government’s Commonwealth Games Delivery Unit.
The government will now look at the final bid proposal from Birmingham and decide if a formal bid will be submitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
The Mayor said: “I am delighted. The way the region has come together to get the Birmingham bid over this hurdle is unlike anything we have ever seen.
“A huge well done to Birmingham City Council for their visionary bid, and to everyone who helped.”
The Mayor said the regional support of the Midlands had been a key determining factor and thanked regional agencies and organisations that had worked hard over the last six months to help the bid.
“We will make the Commonwealth proud,” he added.
“But this is only the first battle to make sure Birmingham’s bid becomes a reality, now we must start work with HM Treasury to ensure they back us.
“The next round is the international round, and we go into that race with momentum and optimism.”
Cllr Ian Ward, Deputy Leader and Chair of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bid Committee, said: "This is a great endorsement by the UK Government of Birmingham’s credentials to host the Games and recognition of the city’s resolve to deliver a memorable event.
"We appreciate that it was a very close decision and that Liverpool pushed us all the way with a very compelling proposal. This is not the end of the journey and we look forward to working with the Government as it makes its final decision to support a UK Candidate City."
Birmingham must win final approval from Prime Minister Theresa May and the Treasury before it formally applies to the CGF to be a host city.
With costs expected to exceed £600million, the government wants Birmingham City Council to provide at least 25 per cent of the budget.
However Glasgow's staging of the 2014 Commonwealths was a financial success and is considered to have helped raise the city's international profile.