Kelly Sotherton believes the Alexander Stadium will be "ready" to stage a World Athletics Championships after the 2022 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

Three-time Olympic bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton has backed Birmingham to launch a bid for a future World Athletics Championships as the city prepares for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Sotherton claims the Alexander Stadium, which is currently undergoing a £72.4million ($97.9 million/€80.3 million) revamp ahead of Birmingham 2022 is the "home of athletics" and has the potential to host major events.

Brigid Jones, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, also did not rule out the possibility of trying to secure the hosting rights for a World Championships once the city has staged the Commonwealth Games in two years’ time.

The Alexander Stadium held its first Diamond League meeting in 2011 and has hosted the British Grand Prix ever since.

Birmingham has previously staged the World Athletics Indoor Championships in 2003 and 2018 at the National Indoor Arena (NIA).

But London is the only city in the United Kingdom that has played host to World Athletics’ flagship outdoor event in 2017.

With Birmingham now poised to stage the Commonwealth Games for the first time, Sotherton is hopeful of seeing a World Championships held in the city.

"Birmingham has always hosted championships really well," said Sotherton, who is Team England's track and field team leader for Birmingham 2022.

"We always hold really good indoor championships when it is at the NIA, so why not (the World Championships)?

"It’s probably part of the future and the legacy.

"It’s what we would want to do in the future.

"Obviously that is up to the powers-that-be, the Government, UK Sport, other governing bodies and the city council.

"If you have got a facility that is world class and it has held world class events then the future has no limits.

"It will be there, ready to go.

"I would like to think that we would one day bid for something big so why not?

"If you have got the facility, then let’s use it to the best of its ability.

"It’s only a positive thing."

Sotherton came through the ranks at Birchfield Harriers, which is based at the Alexander Stadium, before going on to win gold in heptathlon at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

The 44-year-old has also won two bronze medals in heptathlon and another in the 4x400 metres relay at the Olympic Games.

"I already think Birmingham is the home of athletics because of the great tradition it has there," said Sotherton.

"England Athletics and UK Athletics are both based there.

"I think we have just loaned (that tag) to London but now we have a standalone athletics stadium so hopefully we can feature big events.

"So it is already the home of athletics to me and many other people because what’s where the national championships are generally held."

The City Council's direct contribution to Birmingham 2022 remains at £184 million ($248 million/€203 million), around 25 per cent of the total cost of the event.

Birmingham has staged the World Athletics Indoor Championships in 2003 and 2018 ©Getty Images
Birmingham has staged the World Athletics Indoor Championships in 2003 and 2018 ©Getty Images

Of that sum, £27.4million ($37 million/€30.4 million) is going towards the redevelopment of the Alexander Stadium which is set to host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as the track and field competitions at Birmingham 2022.

Asked whether the City Council would consider bidding for a World Championships after the Commonwealth Games, councillor Jones said: "We would absolutely love to host future events in this city.

"We have got the infrastructure going in place and by 2022 we would have proved that we can do it.

"As Kelly has said we have got a legacy already of hosting world class sporting events in the city so we will absolutely be looking at what we could best use those facilities for in the future."

Once the revamp is complete, the permanent seating at the Alexander Stadium is expected to increase from 12,700 to 18,000.

"In terms of future usage watch this space," added Jones.

"There is a lot of really exciting potential for that stadium.

"We know it is going to be world class and able to host those major events in the future so we hope to make some announcements at some point in the run up to the Games."