Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium will get a £70 million investment to transform it into a world-class athletics venue for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The stadium’s capacity will increase from 12,700 to 40,000 for the Games, and will retain 20,000 permanent seats after the event.
Alexander Stadium, which hosts an annual Diamond League meet and is the home of UK Athletics, was opened in 1976, and the redevelopment will see the venue become the UK’s largest permanent athletics stadium outside of the capital London.
The revamped stadium will also include new community sports facilities within the new stand, a permanent warm-up track and a new conference meeting space created to host business and cultural events after the Games.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who will announce the investment on Wednesday during a visit to to the city, said: “Birmingham’s dynamism, diversity and ambition capture exactly what it is to be part of the Commonwealth and I’m sure that in four years’ time, the people of this city will host an incredible event which showcases the very best of Britain to the world.
“The investment I am announcing today will transform the stadium into a state-of-the-art facility benefiting the local community and the region well beyond 2022.”
The Midland’s city was chosen ahead of Liverpool as Britain’s candidate city in September and as the only host bid submitted by the September deadline, it was widely expected that Birmingham would be awarded the Games.
However, the Commonwealth Games Federation initially said the city’s bid was “not fully compliant” and encouraged further bids from other cities who had expressed an interest.
After two months no competing bids were lodged, and Birmingham was confirmed as the host of the 2022 Games in December. It is anticipated that Games will cost £750 million, with the majority of costs being met by the government.