Kadeena Cox, left, and Laura Muir, right, were among the athletes to see the progress of work at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham ©Birmingham 2022

Birmingham 2022 director of sport Matt Kidson has revealed that the £72.4 million ($99 million/ €84.4 million) renovation of the Alexander Stadium is on track to be completed in the spring of next year.

Kidson was speaking to insidethegames at an event, also attended by British Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir and Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox, held to showcase the progress made on transforming the venue from a 12,700-capacity stadium to around 30,000 for next year's Commonwealth Games.

The Alexander Stadium will be able to hold around 18,000 spectators when temporary seating is removed following the conclusion of the Games.

Work on a new adjoining running track which has been laid was also shown to visitors.

Kidson believes the changes to the site in the Perry Barr region of the English city will make it a world-class venue for hosting athletics events and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at the Games.

"The last time I was here was back in June, and the change already has been absolutely spectacular," Kidson said.

"It's going to be a world-class venue for the Games and for the future so I couldn't be happier."

The director of sport for Birmingham 2022 also revealed that construction work is going well, and is well on track to be completed in very good time for the Games.

"It should be all on time, which is wonderful," said Kidson.

"Speaking to Paul today from the project management team, he's very confident we'll get it handed over in spring next year, and then we'll do our final preparations to make it an amazing, world-class venue."

Applications for tickets for the Games are open until September 30 at 8pm BST, with prices starting at £15 ($20/€17) for adults and £8 ($11/€9) for under-16s.

Work has also been taking place on a brand new running track adjacent to the Alexander Stadium ©ITG
Work has also been taking place on a brand new running track adjacent to the Alexander Stadium ©ITG

Kidson predicted that the demand for tickets will be extremely high.

"The athletes want the very best stadium to perform in, we're confident that we're going to pack this out for every single day of athletics," he said.

"There's a real appetite from people in the UK to get back into stadiums and see sport."

The project at the Alexander Stadium is part of the wider aim to leave a legacy in the Perry Barr area of Birmingham, and Kidson emphasised that the long-term usage of the venue has been of the utmost importance to the plans.

"I think it's hugely important," he said.

"Legacy is a big topic for Games and we're looking to do as much as possible, whether it's the human legacy or the physical legacy.

"I think the biggest thing for this community is that this is available for people to come and use after the Games, and that's the key thing for us.

"We want people to be inspired to take up sport, anyone of any age, any background, any ethnicity can come and try sport, take part in it and keep fit and healthy."

One of those who could be set to benefit is the Alexander Stadium-based Birchfield Harriers hurdler Sophia Deans, who was also present at the event and tried out the new warm-up track alongside Muir and Cox.

Deans told insidethegames she is excited having seen first-hand how quickly the site has developed.

"It's so exciting, it's amazing to see how far this has come," she said.

"I live near here, so to see the progress is really inspiring.

"I think it's really going to help bring more people into sport, and give some excitement to Birmingham, especially this area."

The Alexander Stadium is set to host athletics events and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at Birmingham 2022 ©ITG
The Alexander Stadium is set to host athletics events and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at Birmingham 2022 ©ITG

The West Midlands Combined Authority is contributing £25 million ($34 million/€29 million) towards the redevelopment of the venue, with a further £20 million ($27 million/€23 million) provided by Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and the remainder coming from Birmingham City Council.

Councillor John O’Shea, the Cabinet member for street scene and parks at Birmingham City Council said: "There are plenty of chances to come and see the revamped stadium in the heart of Perry Park during the Games itself - from the Opening and Closing Ceremonies right through to the packed programme of athletics and Para athletics action.

"As the proud host city, it is an honour to be preparing the stage for the Games by delivering a world-class Alexander Stadium."

Birmingham 2022 will be the third time England has hosted the Commonwealth Games, following London in 1934 and Manchester 2002.

A total of 286 sessions of sport are expected to be held, as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies on July 28 and August 8 2022 respectively.