21 Jun 2022

By: Sport Industry Group

UK Athletics has officially submitted a joint bid with Birmingham City Council to host the European Athletics Championships at Birmingham’s 18,000-capacity Alexander Stadium in 2026.

UK Athletics hopes to host Europe’s most prestigious European athletics competition, seven years on from hosting the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow in 2019.

The UK has hosted a number of major athletics championships over the last 15 years, including the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the World Athletics and World Para Athletics Championships as well as the World Athletics Indoor Championships, but it has never hosted the European Athletics Championships.

UKA’s Cherry Alexander, Vice President of European Athletics said, “I’m delighted that we have been able to submit a bid to host this hugely prestigious championships for European Athletics. It has long been a wish of mine and many colleagues to bring the ‘Euros’ to the UK so we can give athletes across the continent an amazing platform upon which to compete and perform.

“We’ve been very fortunate to win the right to stage a number of major events in recent years, and with that in mind, we’d find it a huge honour for European Athletics to entrust us with its most important competition.

“We are blessed in the UK to work with many valued and important City partners and we have committed to working with all of them towards their major championship ambitions. On this occasion Birmingham have stepped up and we would love another chance for UK fans to welcome the best in the world.”

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, added, “We have a first-class record for hosting international sporting events in Birmingham and the positive impact they have for our people and businesses is very clear. They strengthen the city’s identity, attract new visitors, grow our economy and promote Birmingham nationally and internationally as a welcoming, diverse, youthful and inclusive city.

“That’s why we published a new Major Sporting Events Strategy last year, to ensure we develop a portfolio of future events, which capitalises on the springboard of our hosting of the Commonwealth Games in a way that maximises the benefit for the people of the city as far as possible. Major events motivate local people, encouraging greater participation in sport and culture, helping improve physical and mental health and wellbeing.

“The redeveloped Alexander Stadium, recent host to the Diamond League and already hailed as the best athletics stadium in the UK, underlines our compelling credentials as a perfect host for European Championships in 2026 – we have excellent facilities, in a city and wider region that loves sport, which also has a bold plan for a sustainable legacy from all events that it stages. We feel the time is right for Birmingham to become the first UK host of these fantastic championships.”

Birmingham will be the host of this summer’s Commonwealth Games from 28th July to 8th August. The Games will take place in 15 venues spread across the West Midlands region, with the opening and closing ceremonies and athletics taking place at the Alexander Stadium.

The city will also host the 2022 edition of Beyond The Games, organised by global foundation Beyond Sport, which will take place 26th July at Villa Park, the home of Premier League football club Aston Villa, and is being held in partnership with Sport England and UK Sport. The event will convene 300 leaders from the domestic and international sport sector to explore, debate and share insights on sport’s role in addressing the UK’s most pressing social and sectoral issues.