UK Athletics (UKA), the national governing body for the sport, has announced the London Stadium will host a meeting of the Diamond League, athletics’ premier one-day series, for the first time in four years.
The event, scheduled for July 23 next year, will take place in the lead-up to the World Athletics Championships in August and will see the world’s top athletes and para-athletes head to the English capital to compete.
Cherry Alexander, UKA’s strategic lead for major events, said: “The London Stadium holds such happy memories for us, and seeing the athletics return to this iconic venue is going to be fantastic for the best supporters in the world.”
The stadium, which last hosted a Diamond League meeting in 2019, had its 2020 event canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, while the 2021 edition was moved to Gateshead due to the increased cost of converting the stadium from a soccer venue to an athletics one, and back again.
The expected cost of the reconfiguration was £3 million ($3.6 million).
The newly rebuilt Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, meanwhile, hosted the 2022 Diamond League meeting in May.
London Stadium chief executive Graham Gilmore said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome athletics back to the stadium next summer, with the Diamond League sitting alongside our world-class calendar of events for 2023.”
Last year, public-service broadcaster the BBC agreed a new deal to remain the UK home of the Diamond League for another four years, with meetings broadcast live on the BBC’s main TV channels, digital iPlayer, and Red Button services, as well as radio stations.
The 2022 Diamond League season started on May 13 in Doha (Qatar). Other destinations to be visited will be Birmingham (UK), Eugene (US), Rabat (Morocco), Rome (Italy), Oslo (Norway), Paris (France), Stockholm (Sweden), Shanghai (China), Shenzhen (China), Monaco, and Brussels (Belgium) before the final in Zürich (Switzerland) on September 7 and 8.
In May, World Athletics announced the final of the Diamond League will be held alternately in Zürich and Brussels (Belgium) between 2024 and 2027.
Eugene in Oregon, USA is set to host the final of the 2023 Diamond League at the new $270 million Hayward Field on the University of Oregon’s campus, marking the first time the Diamond League climax has been held outside Europe.
The stadium hosted the 2022 World Athletic Championships in July.