Spectacular summer of sport in store for Birmingham’s delegates

Birmingham’s conference and event delegates can take advantage of their free time in the city this summer by being treated to a number of world class sporting events at bargain prices.  Birmingham, which boasts a squad of renowned sporting conference venues including The Belfry and Aston Villa FC, will be welcoming tennis star and three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, the fastest-ever American sprinter Tyson Gay and the highest run scorer in the history of Test cricket Sachin Tendulkar as they take part in some of the country’s favourite summer sports ahead of next year’s Olympic Games.

Between the 6th – 12th June, the Edgbaston Priory Club will be the setting for the world’s best female tennis players as they once again battle it out to win the AEGON Classic, which acts as a crucial warm up to Wimbledon. The Club, whose private function and meeting room The Priory Suite has a capacity of up to 100 guests, will see Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova attempt to win her third title in eight outings.

Sharapova said:

“I always love returning to Birmingham to play at the AEGON Classic tournament. It’s a great event with a unique atmosphere and Birmingham is such a great city – it’s so welcoming and I always look forward to playing there.”

On the 10th July, the starter gun will sound on Birmingham’s debut in the prestigious Diamond League athletics meeting at the Alexander Stadium, bringing together the eagerly-anticipated 100m confrontation between Tyson Gay and the Jamaican Asafa Powell.

Powell, who held the 100m world record between 2005 and 2008, said:

“Tyson and I enjoyed a great race against each other in Gateshead and I’m sure it will be the same at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix. I have only run in Birmingham once before, but if it is like London I know there will be a lot of Jamaican fans coming to support us. It’s because of this support that running in the UK always feels like being at home.”

The Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr, which hosts meetings and conferences for up to 80 delegates in a selection of VIP boxes and conference rooms, will also welcome the country’s best athletes in the AVIVA UK Trials & Championships between the 29th – 31st July, with London 2012 gold medal hopefuls Phillips Idowu and Jessica Ennis both expected to feature.

Following a £32 million refurbishment to include a new conferencing and banqueting suite for 700 guests, the new-look Edgbaston Cricket Ground plays host to the Third Test between England and the world’s number one side India between the 10th – 14th August. Warwickshire favourites Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott will come up against one of the sport’s greatest batsmen Sachin Tendulkar for a Test, which has already sold over 50,000 tickets.

Bell, the Warwickshire and England cricketer, said:

“I always look forward to returning to Birmingham because you can guarantee there will be a great atmosphere. With Edgbaston’s new stadium opening ready for this summer’s Test match against India I’m positive this will be the best city to play in the country and quite possibly the world.”

Ian Taylor, Commercial Director at Marketing Birmingham, which manages the city’s Meet Birmingham programme, said:

“Birmingham is the home of sport in this country, hosting more national, European and world sporting championships than any other UK city in some of its finest arenas. These sporting venues also offer event organisers a unique environment in which to hold a conference or meeting.

“The high calibre of sporting stars and events coming to Birmingham over the summer will serve to raise awareness of these distinctive venues, ensuring the city remains prominently on both the conferencing and sporting map.”

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