Birmingham City Council has handed over Alexander Stadium to organisers of this summer’s Commonwealth Games, with final enhancements now set to be made to the venue ahead of the event.
Birmingham will host the Commonwealth Games from July 28 to August 8, with Alexander Stadium set to serve as the main venue for the event.
Alexander Stadium has undergone a £72m (€84.1m/$88.7m) revamp to make it Games-ready, with its capacity to permanently increase from 12,700 to 18,000. Temporary seating will mean that the stadium can host up to 30,000 spectators during the Games.
The council has overseen the project, which has remained on budget and on schedule despite difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Birmingham 2022 has now taken up tenancy of the stadium and will finalise the temporary Games-time enhancements.
Alexander Stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies at the Games, as well as all of the athletics and para-athletics events. After the Games, the stadium’s temporary overlay will be removed to leave a legacy facility that will serve as a focal point for sport, health, wellbeing and community activity in the local area.
Councillor Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “The new-look Alexander Stadium is absolutely stunning and it’s testament to the vision and hard work of everyone involved in this project that it has already been hailed as the best athletics stadium in the country. Birmingham has a venue to be truly proud of and we look forward to welcoming athletes, coaches and spectators for what I am confident will be.”
Dominic Olliff, director of venues for Birmingham 2022, added: “The newly redeveloped Alexander Stadium looks fantastic. We are delighted to take up tenancy for the next few months, as we make the final preparations for and then deliver the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“As it will host the track and field programme, and our opening and closing ceremonies, the stadium is a hugely important venue for the Games, and it has been a joy to witness its incredible transformation over the last couple of years.”
Birmingham City Council has provided £27.4m in funding for the Alexander Stadium redevelopment. The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership has provided £20m, while the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has provided £25m.
Last week, it was reported that UK Athletics was in talks with London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) over a settlement deal to end its long-term agreement to stage events at London Stadium.
The Telegraph reported that a settlement payment of between £10m and £15m had been proposed for UKA to end its agreement and take its events to other stadia, such as Alexander Stadium.
Image: Birmingham City Council