People walked on the Alexander Stadium track for the first time on Commonwealth Day ©Birmingham 2022

Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid believes Alexander Stadium is now looking like the perfect stage for this year's Games after inspecting progress on Commonwealth Day.

The focal venue of the Commonwealth Games will host both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and athletics and today saw people walk on the freshly laid blue track for the first time.

Seventy-two children were part of the festivities here - one for every country and territory which will compete at Birmingham 2022 - and they marched around the track to the infield carrying the flags of some of the nations involved.

Alexander Stadium, the home of England's acclaimed Birchfield Harriers athletics club, is being expanded into a 30,000-seater venue in time for the Games.

It will revert back down to an 18,000 capacity after the event, which will run between July 28 and August 8.

A Diamond League athletics event is scheduled for the stadium - or London if need be - on May 21.

"Everything should be in place for that event," said Reid.

"We've seen some incredible progress, it's almost complete.

"The temporary overlay is going in, it really is a venue fit for a special Opening and Closing Ceremony and athletics programme.

"I'm delighted to see all the work that has been done.

"It really is a fitting stage."

Some temporary infrastructure such as seating and lighting has been installed with decoration and snagging needing to be completed.

"We're almost counting down by the day now," Ward added. 

Seventy-two children were part of the Commonwealth Day event today ©Birmingham 2022
Seventy-two children were part of the Commonwealth Day event today ©Birmingham 2022

"It's just milestone after milestone. 

"We're here marking Commonwealth Day today and Thursday (March 17) is the first major show for the Birmingham 2022 Festival. 

"They [the milestones] just keep coming thick and fast.

"We're starting to deliver now on the ground and there's not long to go."

The event took place with the Queen's Baton Relay on the other side of the world in New Zealand.

"The interest and excitement for Birmingham 2022 is growing on a daily basis as the finishing touches are made to the preparations for the biggest event to ever be staged in the city," said Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward.

"It was a special moment to see pupils from schools located in many different areas of our proud host city on the Alexander Stadium track on Commonwealth Day in the year of our Commonwealth Games.

"These are the Games for everyone and everything we gain from our bold decision to bid for the event will be of the greatest long-term benefit to young people like those who visited the venue today."