The 2026 European Athletics Championships were awarded to Birmingham on the first day of the European Athletics Council meeting in Warsaw, Poland on Friday (11).
This is the first time that a British city has been assigned the European Athletics Championships although Birmingham has staged a plethora of high profile events in recent years, including the 2007 European Athletics Indoor Championships, the 2003 and 2018 World Athletics Indoor Championships and the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The 2026 European Athletics Championships will take place in the recently rebuilt Alexander Stadium, the venue for a sell-out athletics programme at the Commonwealth Games this summer.
“I am absolutely delighted to announce that we have awarded the 2026 European Athletics Championships to Birmingham,” said European Athletics President Dobromir Karamarinov.
“The British public has a huge appreciation for world class athletics and the British crowds are among the most knowledgeable, passionate and enthusiastic anywhere in the world. We saw this recently at the Commonwealth Games where the stands were at full capacity, even for the morning sessions.
“We are sure that Europe’s best athletes will be competing in a full stadium every day and in front of a huge television audience not just in Europe but globally as well. We really couldn’t ask for a better host city and venue for our showcase event in 2026,” added Karamarinov.
With 124 gold medals, Great Britain & NI is the most successful nation in European Athletics Championships history and British athletes have provided many iconic moments in championship history.
Colin Jackson and Steve Backley famously won four successive titles in the 110m hurdles and javelin respectively between 1990 and 2002 and Mo Farah won five titles in the 5000m and 10,000m between 2010 and 2014.
On the announcement, UKA’s Chief Executive Jack Buckner 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."
The next edition of the European Athletics Championships will take place in Rome in 2024 from 7-12 June.
Hosts for 2023 and 2025 European Athletics U20 Championships confirmed
The European Athletics Council has also allocated the 2025 European Athletics U20 Championships to Tampere, Finland.
Tampere is a regular destination for major age-group championships. Over the last decade, the Finnish city has staged the 2018 World Athletics U20 Championships and the 2013 European Athletics U23 Championships.
Tampere also staged the European Athletics U20 Championships in 2003 which was highlighted by notable doubles from Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova-Collio in the 100/200m and Portugal’s soon-to-be Olympic and world champion Nelson Evora in the long jump and triple jump.
“We were very impressed with the quality and detail of Tampere’s bid. Finland has a long track record of staging well-organised events at all levels so we have no doubt our U20 athletes will have the very best conditions on and off the track in 2025,” said European Athletics President Dobromir Karamarinov.
The European Athletics Council can also confirm the 2023 European Athletics U20 Championships - which was initially awarded to Cluj-Napoca in Romania - will now be held in Jerusalem, Israel, the venue for the European Athletics U18 Championships in July.
The dates for the European Athletics U20 Championships have also changed from 6-9 July to 7-10 August.