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Athletics could vacate London Stadium in 2022

world-athletics-championships-2017-at-the-olympic-stadium-a7b8ac0aa1c0befb8d5759d37c8f58f0The team behind Birmingham’s bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games want to expand Alexander Stadium saying it would provide a positive sporting legacy for the city.

The Perry Barr venue is home to Birchfield Harriers, one of the country’s best-known athletics teams, and hosts several national and international events, including the UK Championships, team trials and Birmingham Diamond League meeting. Having stripped South African city Durban of the right to host the 2022 Games earlier this year because of financial problems, the Commonwealth Games Federation is keen to award the event to either Birmingham or Liverpool, providing one of those can persuade the UK government it deserves public funding.

That decision is expected next month and Birmingham’s hopes depend on the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) backing its plan to increase the stadium’s capacity from 13,000 to 20,000, with an additional 25,000 seats for the Games.

The stadium would then host the athletics and opening and closing ceremonies, while Liverpool competing bid is proposing to install an athletics track in Everton’s new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock as a one-off solution similar to the one Glasgow used at Hampden in 2014. Converting the home of Scottish football to athletics took nearly three months and cost a reported £27million, although that included upgrading the venue and a warm-up track.

Last month the chief executive of Commonwealth Games England has dismissed claims that Liverpool or Birmingham might stage the athletics events at the London Stadium if they are awarded the 2022 edition of the multi-sport event.

A new expanded Athletics Stadium in Birmingham could allow UK Athletics to move the annual Anniversary games from the  London Stadium which would make the former Olympic Stadium profitable over night. The massive cost to taxpayers in moving seats every year for fifty years might encourage the government to fund an Athletics legacy in Birmingham instead.

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About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

7 comments on “Athletics could vacate London Stadium in 2022

  1. When it comes to common sense don’t expect any from a government, our government is a bit like our team, lacking leadership and direction unfortunately the opposition are like the keystone cops descending farcically but dangerously back into the 1980’s all we need now are Deggsy and Barmy Bernie to become special advisors and Corbynistas. Anyway enough of the political asides and talking of a strong left wing makes me worry about what we are lacking, I can’t see the LLDC approving that but we live in hope.

  2. The Daily Mail’s Charles Sale column has an item about UK Athletics probably bidding for the 2022 European Athletics Championships, using a clause in their tenancy agreement allowing them to host a major event at the ‘London’ Stadium – that’s a bit of a facer!

    Another wrinkle is that the 2022/23 Football Season is expected to start early to accomodate the Quatar World Cup in December 2022 – you couldn’t make it up!

    The obvious solution would be the Birmingham Stadium being developed and Athletics leaving the ‘London’ Stadium altogether, but that’s far too sensible – expect the present farce to continue for the foreseeable future!

  3. If athletics were to move out in 2022. Could anyone forsee the following happening and would it be physically possible? the London Stadium becomes home to NFL team London (Jacksonville) Jaguars and during the summer is used for concerts. It’s ideally suited to NFL and means Wembley doesn’t have the annual NFL disruption. By then we have a new (rich) owner who builds a purpose -built football stadium next to the London Stadium for our sole use. But the question is of course…is there enough space next to the existing stadium for another stadium (albeit one that takes up less space!).

  4. Might be pie in the sky this. But I’m in the travel business and someone within Qatar Airways told me that the airline are seeking an EPL stadium to sponsor to compete with Emirates and Etihad. They are looking at how things develop with West Ham, Spurs and Everton. It would make sense for them to be in the capital. They already own most of London!

  5. 5 years as long as we rent a stadium there will be issues they have no real say in what haokens. Best thing they could do is start planning or building a stadium a proper football ground over the next 2-5 years bc that will be a future they will never buy ‘LS’ like they have hinted at and renting in any league especially PL is not for best of the club

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