Birmingham set to host European Athletics Championships 2026

Alexander Stadium in Birmingham will host the European Athletics Championships Credit: PA

Birmingham has been confirmed to host the European Athletics Championships in 2026 following its legacy of the Commonwealth Games this year.

This afternoon, British Athletics announced Birmingham will host the European Athletics Championships in four years' time following a successful bid process with UK Athletics.

Birmingham City Council, alongside UK Sport and UK Athletics, had hoped to host the prestigious European athletics competition, after a hugely successful European Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow in 2019.

The city's Alexander Stadium in Perry Park in Birmingham will host the Championships - one of the biggest track and field events.

The women's 400m final at Alexander Stadium at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Credit: PA

Birmingham competed against Budapest in Hungary to hold the event.

It will be the first time the UK has ever hosted the European Athletics Championships.

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward, said it is an honour to hold the event for the first-ever time in UK.

Speaking to ITV News Central, leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward, said: "This is a big big honour for the city of Birmingham to be the first city to host the European Championships in the United Kingdom and we are delighted with this outcome.

"We thank the European Athletics association for their confidence and their support and we have promised them that we will put on a fantastic championships.

"We will engage all of our communities in these championships in a similar way that we did with the Commonwealth Games."

In a following statement, Cllr Ian Ward added, "Over many years we have demonstrated we are a city that can proudly host major events of this type and scale – and the people of Birmingham and indeed the entire nation have proven time and time again their huge appetite for sport, especially athletics.

“The Alexander Stadium is beyond all doubt the premier athletics facility in the country and we cannot wait to welcome the elite of European athletics for this event, which will also bring a range of benefits for local communities and our economy beyond the programme of track and field activities.”

UK Athletic's Chief Executive, Jack Buckner, said he is thrilled Birmingham has won the bid to host the event.

In a statement, he said: "We are delighted and honoured that we have been awarded the privilege of hosting the European Athletics Championships in 2026 in Birmingham. It is wonderful news for athletics and benefits the whole of the UK in demonstrating our ability to host major events across the whole country.

“UKA has held a long-time wish to deliver this event and we thank European Athletics for its faith in entrusting us with its most important competition.

“Our vision for the Championships is about record-breaking ticket sales and an amazing atmosphere for athletes to be inspired inside and outside the stadium. We have promised to deliver an amazing, innovative and game-changing Championships, and we’re excited we can now put this plan into action!"

Meanwhile, UK Sport, said they "can't wait" for the Championships in a tweet this afternoon.

In the tweet, UK Sport tagged @Birmingham2026 - a new account set up for the event for fans to follow the journey to the European Athletics Championships.

But the European World Championships coming to Birmingham isn't just attracting the track and field stars. Gymnast Joe Fraser is thrilled that another major event will be held in his hometown.

Joe told ITV News Central: "To have such a monumental event hosted in my hometown is truly amazing. Birmingham is so important to me - I can't wait to watch the team bring it home and show what they can do" 

Almost half of the UK watched or followed the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and more than five million people travelled to the major West Midlands city. It's hoped that the European Athletics Championships in four years' time will again draw millions of visitors.