Birmingham & Black Country

Alexander Stadium at heart of Birmingham Commonwealth Games bid

The Alexander Stadium
Image caption The Alexander Stadium's capacity would increase to up to 50,000 for the games under the proposals, the council said

Plans to create the UK's largest permanent athletics stadium are at the heart of Birmingham's bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Alexander Stadium, used by US athletes ahead of London 2012 Olympics, could increase capacity to 50,000, with a permanent capacity of 25,000.

Birmingham faces competition from Liverpool to be England's official bid for the games.

A final decision will be made before the end of the year.

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Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mo Farah won the men's two-mile race at the Birmingham Diamond League in 2014

The 51-year-old Diamond League venue is already the administrative home for UK Athletics and has a capacity of more than 12,000.

As well as hosting the opening and closing ceremonies, it would be the athletics venue for the games.

Its proposed 25,000 seating plan would match that of Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

Image caption European silver medallist Nathan Douglas is backing the bid

But Birmingham's bid has yet to confirm which of the optional sports it will include.

The council said it was following guidelines laid down by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport about how to announce key elements of the bid, including disciplines and venues.

The Commonwealth Games Federation has been searching for a new host for the 2022 games since it decided in March that Durban, in South Africa, had not met the criteria for hosting.

Image copyright Liverpool Echo

Australia, Canada and Malaysia have also expressed interest in being the hosts.

After Birmingham announced more details of its bid on Monday, the Liverpool Echo published an article on why the Liverpool bid was better.

Speaking in Birmingham, European silver medallist Nathan Douglas said he thought it would be "amazing" to have the games in the city.

Image caption Allyson Felix was among US athletes to train at the stadium for the 2012 games in London

The triple jumper, who is backing the bid, said: "I've been here since 2004 training here, so to see this actually get.... [a] bit of a revamp would be absolutely brilliant and I think for the future it'd be fantastic."

Ian Ward, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Commonwealth Games Steering Group chair, said: "We can also leave a legacy behind of grass roots sporting facilities that the people in this city, particularly young people, will be able to utilise in the future."

Image copyright Birmingham City Council
Image caption The city has unveiled a logo

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