Perry Barr StadiumEdit profile
Perry Barr Stadium (also known as Perry Barr Greyhound Stadium and previously as Alexander Sports Ground(s)) is a stadium and racetrack on Aldridge Road in Perry Barr, Birmingham, England.
It was originally constructed for an athletics club, Birchfield Harriers who held its opening ceremony on 27 July 1929, having purchased the land on 11 November 1926. The façade still carries their badge, a running stag, rendered in Art Deco style bas relief, carved in 1929 and attributed to William Bloye. The site was formerly a rubbish tip, chiefly for fly ash from a local power station.
Birchfield Cycling Club used the venue for cycle races, and, from the mid 1930s, the cycle track outside the running lanes was used by the Sunbac Speedway Club for dirt-track racing (speedway). In the 1930s and 40s, Aston Villa Football Club's second and third teams trained at the stadium.
Soon after the start of World War II, the stadium was requisitioned by the government and used by the Home Guard. Later in the war it was used to accommodate Italian prisoners of war; the last of these did not leave until January 1946 and the club only returned to the stadium the following month. Shortly afterwards, the club hired out the stadium on Saturday evenings, to Birmingham Speedway. Floodlighting was installed to facilitate the latter, and this allowed for the first floodlit athletics meeting ever held in the United Kingdom, in September 1948, after the lights had been turned on near the end of an earlier meeting, which had overrun into dusk. Floodlit horse jumping competitions were also held.
In 1977, their centenary year, Birchfield Harriers moved to the newly-built Alexander Stadium, nearby. Perry Barr Stadium, as it was then renamed, is now used for greyhound racing on Thursdays and Fridays, and is the home of Birmingham Brummies speedway team.
The staudium is opposite the main Birmingham City University campus and close to (and served by) Perry Barr railway station.