Alexander Stadium is an international athletics stadium located within Perry Park in Perry Barr, Birmingham, England, at grid reference . It has staged the Amateur Athletics Association Championships, and was the venue of the 1998 Disability World Athletics Championships. It hosted one England Monarchs game in 1998 with an attendance of 8,000. It frequently hosts the English Schools' Athletics Championships, alternating every few years with Gateshead. 2019 will be the last year the ESAA Championships will be held there due to its demolition and rebuild for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. It hosts the annual British Grand Prix and will be the main athletics venue of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
|Location||Perry Park, Perry Barr, Birmingham, England|
|Operator||Birmingham City Council|
Planned to expand to 40,000 for the Commonwealth Games
England Monarchs (NFL Europe) (1998)
Birmingham City University
The construction of the stadium began in 1975 and it opened in 1976. It is the home of Birchfield Harriers, one of the best known athletics clubs in the United Kingdom, replacing their former home at Alexander Sports Ground.
It has an eight-lane synthetic surface track with a ten lane straight. 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.
|Sporting events||12,700 (seated)|
|Live music events||Approx 20,000|
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 like Nelly Furtado, Westlife, Natasha Bedingfield, Blue, Sugababes, 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. This event, however, was later cancelled although it returned in 2010.
Attempted murder caseEdit
On 22 March 2016 fell-runner Lauren Jeska 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 transphobia. She later plead guilty to attempted murder and was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.
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. The new stand has also become home to the offices of UK Athletics. The stand was completed in June 2011, in time to host the Diamond League British Grand Prix in July 2011.
In June 2017, during the preparation of the Birmingham bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Birmingham bid committee proposed to renovate the Alexander Stadium and use it for hosting the athletics and ceremonies of the Games. In August 2017, former UK Athletics (UKA) Chief Ed Warner proposed the London Stadium in London to host the athletic events to save money, while Birmingham and West Midlands to host the rest of the sporting events of the Games.
On 11 April 2018, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that £70 million (approx. USD $90 million) of investment will 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. In October 2018, British engineering and designing firm Arup was chosen by the Birmingham City Council to redesign the stadium. British construction firm Mace was chosen to manage the stadium renovation project.
In February 2019, Councillor Paul Tilsley claimed that the refurbished Alexander Stadium would become a white elephant after the Games as no long-term tenant for the stadium was identified. He was also concerned about the funding arrangement of the Games and claimed that spending funds in organizing the Games could put the council into very heavy debt. On 21 June 2019, the 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. The council claimed that the stadium could continue to be the permanent home for the UKA and host major athletics events such as the Diamond League meeting which is currently held at the London Stadium. But former UKA chief Ed Warner claimed that moving the main athletic events from London to Birmingham would be unattractive for the UKA both financially and in terms of the sport's profile. A UKA spokesperson also told the Press Association Sport that the UKA had no plans to take athletics events out of London Stadium.
On 30 January 2020, the 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. In March 2020, the Birmingham City Council chose the Northern Irish firm McLaughlin & Harvey to redevelop the stadium.
- "English schools 2019". ESAA.
- Alexander, William O; Morgan, Wilfred (1988). The History of Birchfield Harriers 1877–1988. Birchfield Harriers. ISBN 0-9514082-0-8.
- Lauren Jeska jailed for Alexander Stadium stabbings - BBC News
- Fell-runner Lauren Jeska tried to kill British athletics official because she feared the body would revoke her titles over transgender status
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