Plans have been revealed for a £70 million revamp of Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium to get it up to standard for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The capacity of the stadium will be increased from 12,700 to 40,000 and 20,000 seats will be retained after the event.
Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed the expansion of the stadium, which will host the 2022 opening and closing ceremonies as well as athletics, when she visited Birmingham on Wednesday.
She said the investment would be transformational and benefit the local community and the West Midlands region. She 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 expansion would see it become the UK’s largest permanent athletics stadium outside 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.
The venue is more than 40 years old and is the administrative home for UK Athletics.
Birmingham was confirmed as the host of the 2022 Games in December.
The city’s bid was the only one submitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) by the deadline of 30 September, after it was chosen ahead of Liverpool as Britain’s candidate.