Alexander Stadium

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Alexander Stadium
Alexander Stadium Birmingham.jpg
Alexander Stadium (undergoing renovation)
LocationPerry Park, Birmingham
Coordinates52°31′49″N 1°54′20″W / 52.53033°N 1.90561°W / 52.53033; -1.90561Coordinates: 52°31′49″N 1°54′20″W / 52.53033°N 1.90561°W / 52.53033; -1.90561
OperatorBirmingham City Council
Capacity18,000
32,000 (2022 Commenwealth Games)
Construction
Broke ground1975
Opened1976 (1976)
Expanded2011, 2019–2022
Tenants
Birchfield Harriers
England Monarchs (NFL Europe) (1998)
Birmingham City University
Website
www.birmingham.gov.uk/alexander

Alexander Stadium is a track and field athletics stadium in Perry Park, Birmingham, England. It hosted the athletics and opening/closing ceremonies of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Other events held there include the annual British Grand Prix between 2011 and 2019 and in 2022,[1] the Amateur Athletics Association Championships, 1998 Disability World Athletics Championships, and English Schools' Athletics Championships.[2]

Original construction began in 1975 and the stadium opened in 1976. It is owned and operated by Birmingham City Council. Birchfield Harriers use it as their home stadium, replacing their former home at Alexander Sports Ground.[3] The stadium underwent a renovation between 2019 and 2022, to prepare it for hosting the Commonwealth Games.[4]

Structure

The stadium has an nine-lane synthetic surface track with a blue surface. Before redevelopment, there were 7,000 covered seats in three separate stands called Main, Knowles (after Dick Knowles) and Nelson (after Doris Nelson Neal OBE), and a 5,000-seater stand on the rear straight.

Event type Capacity
Sporting events 18,000 (seated)
Live music events Approx 20,000

Diamond League

Since 2011 Alexander Stadium has hosted the prestigious world athletics Diamond League tour until 2019 ahead of the redevelopment. Birmingham held the 2nd series of the 2022 tour on May 21st 2022.[5]

Music events

The stadium has held many music events, including a one-day festival called Party in the Park run by BRMB (now Free Radio Birmingham) radio that featured acts including Nelly Furtado, Westlife, Natasha Bedingfield, Blue, Sugababes, Debbie McGee, Girls Aloud and The Calling. The event was later moved to Cannon Hill Park where it was in a more central part of the city and so made it easier for people from south Birmingham to attend.

Expansion

2011

In 2011 Alexander Stadium underwent a £12.5 million expansion and refurbishment, including the building of a 5,000-seater stand opposite the current main stand. This took the capacity to 12,700.[6] The new stand has also become home to the offices of UK Athletics.[7] The stand was completed in June 2011, in time to host the Diamond League British Grand Prix in July 2011.[8]

2017–present

In June 2017, during the preparation of the Birmingham bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Birmingham bid committee proposed to renovate Alexander Stadium and use it for hosting the athletics and ceremonies of the Games.[9]

On 11 April 2018, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that £70 million (approx. USD $90 million) of investment would be earmarked to transform the Alexander Stadium into a world-class athletics venue for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, during which it will seat 40,000 spectators.[10] In October 2018, British engineering and designing firm Arup was chosen by the Birmingham City Council to redesign the stadium.[11] British construction firm Mace was chosen to manage the stadium renovation project.[12]

On 21 June 2019, Birmingham City Council released the images and plans for renovating the Alexander Stadium and claimed that it would create a legacy asset for the Perry Barr area.[13]

On 30 January 2020, Birmingham City Council's planning committee approved the renovation plans of the Alexander Stadium which would cost £72 million. After the games, the temporary stands around the track bends will be removed, leaving the two permanent stands seating 18,000, with the option of extending to 40,000 for major events.[14][15][16] In March 2020, the city council chose the Northern Irish firm McLaughlin & Harvey to redevelop the stadium.[17]

Incidents

On 22 March 2016 fell-runner Lauren Jeska from Lancaster attacked UK Athletics official Ralph Knibbs at the stadium, stabbing him multiple times. Jeska had feared her records in women's events would be quashed due to her transgender identity. She later pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment.[18][19] She was also convicted of causing actual bodily harm to two bystanders who tried to defend Knibbs.[18]

References

  1. ^ "Birmingham 2022 in talks with Diamond League over Commonwealth Games test event". www.insidethegames.biz. 30 November 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  2. ^ "English schools 2019". ESAA.
  3. ^ Alexander, William O; Morgan, Wilfred (1988). The History of Birchfield Harriers 1877–1988. Birchfield Harriers. ISBN 0-9514082-0-8.
  4. ^ Council, Birmingham City. "Alexander Stadium development". www.birmingham.gov.uk. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Diamond League | World Athletics". worldathletics.org. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Alexander Stadium's bid to be UK Athletics base". BBC. 22 September 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  7. ^ "UK Athletics heading for a grandstand view of the Alexander Stadium". Inside the Games. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  8. ^ "Top athletes set for Birmingham Grand Prix Meeting". BBC. 22 October 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  9. ^ "Stadium expansion at heart of 2022 bid". BBC News. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  10. ^ "PM announces £70 million to transform Birmingham stadium for 2022 Commonwealth Games". GOV.UK. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  11. ^ Marshall2018-10-25T09:39:00+01:00, Jordan. "Arup wins design contract for £70m revamp of Commonwealth Games stadium". Building. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Mace to project manage Birmingham Commonwealth Games stadium". Infrastructure Intelligence. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Birmingham targets taking athletics off London as £70 million Alexander Stadium redevelopment plan for 2022 Commonwealth Games unveiled". www.insidethegames.biz. 21 June 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Alexander Stadium revamp gets green light". AW. 30 January 2020. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  15. ^ "Commonwealth Games stadium revamp approved". BBC News. 30 January 2020. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  16. ^ "Birmingham approves proposals for Alexander Stadium redevelopment". Verdict Designbuild. 31 January 2020. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  17. ^ Rogers2020-03-13T06:00:00+00:00, Dave. "Winner emerges on 2022 Commonwealth Games stadium". Building. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  18. ^ a b Lauren Jeska jailed for Alexander Stadium stabbings - BBC News
  19. ^ Fell-runner Lauren Jeska tried to kill British athletics official because she feared the body would revoke her titles over transgender status

External links

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