Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium has now become the de facto home of the British Championships - which doubles up as trials for Olympic Games, European and World Championships - and a Diamond League event. It is also the home of Birchfield Harriers. The stadium is situated in Perry Barr not far from Junction 7 of the M6.

The stadium

The older stands are found on the home straight (Main Stand), on the bend up to the 100m start (Knowsley Stand) and the bend from the finish line (Nelson Stand). If you want to see who crosses the line first you are better off in block 1 of the Nelson stand, as the Main Stand seats near the finish line are taken up by officials and press. The new stand on the back straight is a considerable improvement on the older stands. If you enjoy being in the sun then go for the lower tier, or at the end of the top tier near the 1500m start line. (The toilets are a considerable improvement; it is not unknown for the Nelson stand toilets to be blocked occasionally or worse). The entrance to the back straight stand is near the end of the Nelson stand.

In terms of field events, the normal pattern is for horizontal jumps to take place right next to the main stand – the pit tends to be near the 100m start, although that depends on the wind direction. You get a close-up view of the pole vault in the back straight stand, and the Nelson stand is nearest to the high jump. Discus and hammer are thrown from near the 1500m start, shot put at the opposite end; javelin depends on wind direction, but usually throws from the first bend. The high jump is usually situated within the first curve near the Nelson stand.

Getting there

Address: Alexander Stadium, Walsall Road, Perry Barr B42 2LR

Most people come by car. Cars are parked on the grass of Perry Park on the far side of the stadium from the A34. Entrance is from Church Road near the Church Tavern. Although most traffic will come down the A34 from Junction 7 of the M6, it is possible to approach from Aldridge Road which helps to avoid the queues for the very busy meets (e.g. Diamond League). When ticket sales are very high, Perry Hall Park on the opposite side of the A34 is sometimes used for parking, which can be a bit of a trek from the stadium. In both car parks, there are inevitably queues to leave at the end of the event, so it can be worth saving your picnic to enjoy during the worst of the queuing.

Bus services: 51 (Birmingham – Walsall); 52A (Birmingham – Booths Farm)

Train services: Perry Barr and Hamstead are on the Birmingham New Street – Walsall line, and are a 20-25 minutes walk from the station.

The website for the stadium is geared toward the leisure facilities rather than as an athletics venue.

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