Birmingham City Council’s planning committee has today (Thursday) approved the redevelopment of Alexander Stadium ahead of the English city’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games multi-sport event in 2022.

The £72m (€85.5m/$94.3m) project will see the stadium’s capacity permanently increase from 12,700 to 18,000, with temporary seating for more than 30,000 fans during the Games.

The stadium is set to serve as the hub of the Games, hosting athletics events as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.

Following the event, the stadium would be the centrepiece of the regenerated Perry Bar area, which is benefiting from more than £500m of investment in the coming years. The stadium will also host tenants such as the Birchfield Harriers Athletics Club and Birmingham City University.

Work on building the new stand will begin in the spring and is scheduled for completion in late 2021 ahead of pre-Games test events. The new western stand will replace the Main, Knowles and Nelson stands.

New tiered seating to the north and south of the stadium will be added, along with a 400-metre, six-lane warm-up track and a relaid IAAF Category 1 track. Improvements will also be made to parking, while new lighting will be fitted and a new practice throwing field added.

Councillor Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We’ve always been clear that Birmingham 2022 is about much more than 11 days of fantastic world-class sporting action. The Games are about regeneration, improved health and wellbeing, promoting the city on a global stage and building civic pride.

“This particular scheme is integral to all of those aims and benefits – the eyes of the Commonwealth and indeed the wider world will be on the venue during the Games, but the longer-term opportunities the improved stadium will offer a regenerated Perry Barr, and indeed the wider region and nation, mean the delivery of this scheme is crucial for the city’s future.”

Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid added: “The Alexander Stadium is a pivotal venue for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, as not only will it host the track and field events for athletics but it’s also where we will stage our official opening and closing ceremonies for the Games.

“Today’s news that planning approval has been granted is therefore a key moment for us as the organisers of the Games and one which we are pleased to be able to celebrate with our partners.

“Birmingham City Council will be delivering the new sections of the stadium and we look forward to watching progress over the next couple of years, ahead of us moving into the stadium when we deliver the Games in 2022.”

Image: Birmingham City Council