England plan to select a city to bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games by next July after Birmingham and Liverpool both put themselves forward.
Liverpool announced in August that they wanted to bid and were joined last month by Birmingham.
"We have to set a timeline and establish a criteria for picking a city," Paul Blanchard, the chief executive of Commonwealth Games England (CGE), told insidethegames.
"We have two cities who have expressed a strong interest and appear to be serious."
Blanchard hopes that a city can be
That would also give them the opportunity to launch a full bid by the time the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which are due to start in the Gold Coast in Australia in April that year.
A decision on which city will host the event is due to be made by the Commonwealth Games Federation at its General Assembly in 2019.
"We've got to give the cities enough opportunity to make the best presentation," said Blanchard.
But CGE are also keen to ensure that Birmingham or Liverpool do not spend too much money trying to win the nomination for England.
"We will try to the reduce the duplication of costs but both cities will probably need to carry out a feasibility study that we will study," said Blanchard.
Blanchard today held preliminary talks with UK Sport, the Government agency that funds elite sport and also helps bring major events to Britain.
A bid from Wales had been widely expected for the 2026 Commonwealth Games but that was dropped in July following the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union, meaning that UK Sport would probably support a proposal from England.
"We understand that the 2026 Commonwealth Games in the UK is definitely part of their major events strategy," said Blanchard.
"A bid from England would start from a position of strength.
"Birmingham and Liverpool are both well known cities and have interesting strategies."
England have only hosted the Commonwealth Games twice since it was first held in 1930, staging them in London in 1934 and Manchester in 2002.
Edmonton in Canada are also considering a bid and are due to make a decision by the end of the year.
Auckland in New Zealand and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea have also been mentioned as possible other bidders.
Durban were awarded the 2022 Commonwealth Games but face having the event taken away from them following their failure to meet a series of deadlines.
They have been a deadline of November 30 but Blanchard has already ruled out England stepping in, claiming they want to concentrate on 2026.