0 Birmingham's Commonwealth bid says bigger Alexander Stadium will be legacy gold

The team behind Birmingham's bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games has denied that an expanded Alexander Stadium could become a white elephant, 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 temporary seats for the Games.

The stadium would then host the athletics and opening and closing ceremonies, while Liverpool 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.

Liverpool's bid is confident it can be done much more cheaply and quickly at Everton as the concept can be designed in from the beginning, although there will still be significant costs involved in raising the floor to accommodate a track, with no post-Games legacy.

On the other hand, Everton are financing the actual stadium themselves and there will be no legacy costs associated with the track.

But Birmingham City Council, which owns the Alexander Stadium, sees its expansion as part of Perry Barr's regeneration and wants the venue to be a sporting asset for the city.

You can read the full article from MSN Sport HERE

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