Athletics Europe has today announced that Birmingham will host the 2026 European Athletics Championships following a successful bid process with UKA.
Working in partnership with Birmingham City Council and UK Sport, UKA had high hopes of hosting Europe’s most prestigious European Athletics competition, seven years after the highly successful European Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow in 2019.
While Great Britain has also proudly hosted a number of major championships over the past 15 years, including the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the World Athletics Championships and the World Para Athletics Championships as well as the World Indoor Championships, this will be the first time Britain has ever hosted. European Championships in Athletics.
The win follows an exciting summer for UK athletics with medal success for GB and NI at the World and European Athletics Championships and for the home team at a particularly successful home Commonwealth Games hosted by Birmingham at the newly refurbished Alexander Stadium – which will be the venue for the event in 2026.
UKA CEO Jack Buckner said:
“We are delighted and honored to be able to host the 2026 European Athletics Championships in Birmingham. This is fantastic news for athletics and beneficial for the whole of Great Britain in demonstrating our ability to host major events across the country.
“UKA has long held the desire to deliver this event and we thank European Athletics for their faith in entrusting us with their most important competition.
“Our vision for the championship is for record ticket sales and an amazing atmosphere for athletes to be inspired inside and outside the stadium. We promised to deliver an amazing, innovative and game-changing championship, and we are excited to be able to launch this program!”
Cpl Ian Ward, said the leader of Birmingham City Council: “We are proud and privileged to be asked to be the first ever UK hosts of the prestigious European Athletics Championships in 2026.
“For many years we have proven that 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 demonstrated time and time again their huge appetite for sport, particularly athletics.
“Alexander Stadium is beyond any doubt the leading athletics facility in the country and we cannot wait to welcome the elite of European athletics to this event, which will also bring a variety of benefits for the local communities and our economy beyond the track program and field activities.”
Sally Munday, CEO of UK Sport, said:
“I am delighted that Great Britain will welcome Europe’s best athletes to Birmingham in 2026. Hosting the European Athletics Championships will be a fantastic opportunity to build on the legacy of the Commonwealth Games earlier this year and I know the British public will get behind the athletes and create a brilliant atmosphere at the Alexander Stadium.
“We have seen throughout 2022 the significant economic and social benefits of hosting major sporting events in this country and hosting this mega-event will deliver enormous benefits to the city of Birmingham, the West Midlands region and the UK as a whole. It is also important to recognize that our continued ability to deliver the best global sporting events is thanks to the support the ongoing of the national lottery”.
Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said:
“It’s fantastic that Birmingham has been chosen to host the first European Athletics Championships on British soil. The city is perfectly placed to host the event following record-breaking ticket sales for the brilliant Commonwealth Games earlier this year.
“I look forward to seeing Europe’s elite athletes descend on the West Midlands and the Government will continue to work closely with Sport UK, UK Athletics and Birmingham City Council to host another hugely successful event.”
Great Britain Athletics and Birmingham are excited to be announced as the host city for the 2026 European Athletics Championships. Athletics fans from Birmingham and across the UK and beyond will travel to see these championships. For those interested in hearing about tickets and broader opportunities to participate in the championships first, register at this link www.uka.org.uk/eac-2026-register-your-interest/