Prime Minister Theresa May is today announcing Alexander Stadium is getting £70 million of investment to make it a world-class athletics venue for Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games.
Mrs May will also visit to the stadium to meet young athletes hoping to be stars of the future.
It comes as Birmingham gets ready to take the baton from the Gold Coast at the closing of the Commonwealth Games this Sunday.
Plans are under way for Alexander Stadium’s capacity to increase from 12,700 to 40,000 in time for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and it will retain 20,000 permanent seats after the event.
The investment will convert the 40-year-old stadium into a landmark international sports venue for the city and the whole West Midlands.
It will host athletes from across the Commonwealth competing in track and field as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.
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.
Mrs May 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 benefitting the local community and the region well beyond 2022.”
Birmingham was awarded the right to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games last year after the city impressed the Commonwealth Games Federation with its ambitious bid to create a lasting sporting legacy, with a focus on inspiring young people and celebrating the diversity of the Commonwealth.
The Government says a budget for the Games will be released once a full review has been completed, followed by regular financial updates in the run up to the Games in 2022.
The final design and costs for the stadium, and the proportion of split of the stadium’s cost between the Government and local authorities, will be worked up as part of the full budget review.
This year’s games are being held on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, and the baton will be passed to Birmingham when they close on Sunday.
ELO’s classic Mr Blue Sky will be played in the city centre, accompanied by a spectacular dance routine seen by a TV audience of one billion people.
The ambitious spectacle will switch between Australia and Birmingham – the first time such an event has spanned two continents. It is designed for television audiences and people are urged to watch at home.
Birmingham Lord Mayor Anne Underwood will receive the flag and Erdington rapper Lady Sanity will sing her track Go The Distance in the Carrera Stadium on the Gold Coast.
Birmingham’s part in the ceremony also features a short film by Oldbury filmmaker Daniel Alexander called We’re From Birmingham – highlighting the city’s young and diverse population.
Also performing will be spoken word poet Amerah Saleh who will represent the voice of young Brummies.