Liverpool has officially announced plans to bring the 2026 Commonwealth Games to the British city.
Mayor Joe Anderson, who pledged before his re-election earlier this year, to seriously investigate whether the city should put itself forward and had written to British Culture Secretary John Whittingdale to seek his support, revealed the news at 20:26 local time this evening.
He had initially claimed there was widespread backing to the idea and has confirmed they would first conduct a feasibility study.
Sir Richard Leese, the leader of the City Council in Manchester, which hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games, is also behind Liverpool's bid, while former British Prime Minister David Cameron revealed in May he would support any British city who wished to bid for the event in 10 years' time.
Britain's chosen city will be formally confirmed in 2018, with suggestions Birmingham might also be interested.
Wales withdrew its plans to bid last week, citing economic concerns due to Brexit, which had made an attempt at securing the hosting rights for the Games "difficult to justify".
Very pleased to announce at 20:26 that Liverpool City Region will bid to host the most inclusive Commonwealth Games in 2026 #GetExcited— Joe Anderson (@joe4metromayor) August 2, 2016
"Liverpool is an ambitious city and I believe we have an enormous amount to offer when it comes to hosting an event of this scale which would be an incredibly important catalyst for regeneration, investment and raising the profile of sport," Anderson told the Liverpool Echo.
“The Games will reflect our growing confidence and expertise in organising large events which create memories for a lifetime and bring the world together, with opportunities for people and places across the city region.”
As well as announcing the city plans to pursue a bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Anderson also revealed they had signed on six ambassadors - British Olympian Katarina Johnson-Thompson, London 2012 bronze medallist Beth Tweddle, former Liverpool Football Club captain Jamie Carragher, WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew, fellow boxer Paul Smith and Graeme Sharp, who scored 111 goals in 322 appearances for Everton.
"The city is synonymous with sport, the people are so welcoming and there’s nowhere better for the Commonwealth Games to take place in," Johnson-Thompson, who is set to compete at the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games, said.
“I’m delighted to act as an ambassador for the bid.”
“I think this is great for the city and something for the next generation of athletes in Liverpool and the entire country to look forward to.”
The city is now expected to hire an international consultancy firm to conduct a feasibility study on whether they should press ahead with the bid, as well as a project director, who will be tasked with overseeing its entirety.
Liverpool's infrastructure, such as suitable sporting venues, will be closely analysed, while the financial aspect will also be scrutinised as part of the study.
Edmonton in Canada and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea are also currently considering whether to bid for the 2026 Games.
The Commonwealth Games Federation is expected to choose a host city at its General Assembly in 2019.
The next edition of the 2018 Commonwealth Games is due to take place in the Gold Coast and the 2022 event is scheduled to be held in Durban in South Africa.
Britain last staged the quadrennial event in Glasgow in 2014.