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There’s a unique feeling around Birmingham at the moment. The city is glowing under the responsibility of hosting the Commonwealth Games and people are genuinely getting behind the huge sporting event.

Massive crowds are lining our streets, and everyone appears to be in a good mood. Even die-hard Brummies, who demand only the best for the city, are now breathing sighs of relief knowing the world is watching with interest.

Birmingham suburbs, which outsiders would never have heard of before the Games, are alive with sport and excitement. And you only have to spend thirty seconds in the city centre to get an understanding of how this splash of Commonwealth-colour is having a positive impact.

Victoria Square, Centenary Square and Brindleyplace are three areas in particular thronged with visitors. It might be the ‘Raging Bull’ initially drawing people in – but they’re staying all day after being intoxicated by the atmosphere.

Families are bringing picnics and plonking themselves in front of large LED screens showing live sport. Others are enjoying our excellent bars and restaurants.

Assistant manager at Rudy’s Pizza, Leo, told BirminghamLive that the Commonwealth is bringing an influx of new customers. He said: “Before, we used to have two or three hours of quiet time between lunch and dinner.

“But now, since the Commonwealth Games started, we’re busy non-stop, all day.”

On whether the pizzeria is struggling with demand, Leo added: “We came prepared for this. And it wasn’t long ago that we hired new staff.”

Mike Perkins, manger at Post Office Vaults, said he is noticing more visitors during the evening. He said: “We’re so close to Victoria Square and I think that helps.

“We’re mainly getting in people who are joining us before getting their trains. It’s great.”

A staff member at Pushkar Cocktail Bar said the restaurant is “busier than ever”, while Purecraft next to Victoria Square said on Monday they were “too busy” to talk “right now”. That said it all.

The Games end on August 8, and with that crowds will disappear. But its legacy will be felt long after the final whistle is blown, and the last banner taken down.

Source: Harry Leach

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