Knighthead Capital Management LLC (Knighthead), the majority owner of Birmingham City FC, has taken a step toward creating a vibrant Sports Quarter and new stadium.

The firm has completed the purchase of the 48-acre former Wheels site on Bordesley Park, allowing the owners to build a new multi-use stadium, high-performance training facilities and other mixed-use real estate development including a range of entertainment options.

Following the purchase of the former Wheels site, which is located less than a mile from the club’s current home at St Andrew’s, the club now boasts ownership of more than 60 acres, excluding St Andrew’s.

Tom Wagner, Co-CEO and Chairman of Knighthead, said: “When we invested in Birmingham City, we made it very clear that we had an ambitious vision to transform the experience for our fans and make a positive contribution to the growth and vitality of the city of Birmingham. 

“The acquisition of the former Wheels site is an important next step in making this a reality. The plans for the Sports Quarter will bring global interest to our club and to Birmingham as a whole. It is going to transform the future of our men’s, women’s and Academy teams, and the fortunes of the community that we call home. 

“We are excited to collaborate with the fans, the local community, and key partners in Birmingham to deliver on our plans for the Sports Quarter.”

The club’s ambition for the Sports Quarter is for it to become a ‘recognisable sporting and entertainment location’, which features a ‘world-class’ stadium, training facilities for both men and women, a new academy, community pitches and commercial space for local businesses, all within walking distance of the city centre.

Garry Cook, CEO of Birmingham City, commented: “The Birmingham City story dates back to 1875 when the Small Heath Alliance team was formed. A blue thread based on teamwork, entertainment and unbreakable community spirit was created. 

“This is the strength of our brand. Our owners have an ambition that is greater than anything this club has ever seen, and when we deliver it the impact on the global reputation of Birmingham will be seismic.”

During the purchase of the Championship club in 2023, Wagner laid out his proposed plans in a ‘Letter to Fans’, which mentioned how the club has ‘unlimited potential’.

Knighthead has committed to champion both the men’s and women’s teams and to “deliver transformational improvements for the good of the club and good of the city.”

Cook added: “Tom Wagner, in his 8 May 2023 Letter to Fans, asked supporters to hold Knighthead accountable to six commitments. One of those was for Birmingham City Football Club to build on the pivotal role it plays in the economic, social, and cultural landscape in the city, making sure it is always a cornerstone and positive force for good in the local community. Without doubt, today’s announcement delivers on this commitment.”

The plans don’t just cover football. As mentioned above, there are specific goals to improve the city of Birmingham and the community as a whole.

In a statement the club wrote: “The plans will not only help realise the vision for the Football Club, but also deliver for East Birmingham as part of Knighthead’s plan to play a significant role in the ongoing transformation of Birmingham’s infrastructure and skyline.”

Knighthead has predicted that these improvements to the area will generate over 3,000 full-time jobs and significantly contribute to Birmingham’s GDP.

Cook joined from Manchester City in 2023, a Premier League club that has invested a lot into its local area. This is showcased through its ‘City Square’ initiative, which plans to house a hotel, workspace and public realm space by 2026.

Cllr John Cotton of Birmingham City Council, remarked: “This is a huge moment for everyone associated with Birmingham City FC, and I’m sure Knighthead’s ambitious vision will excite Blues fans everywhere. 

“I want to thank our council officers who have worked so closely with the club and these exciting plans will regenerate the area, creating thousands of much-needed jobs. Hopefully, this is the first step on a journey to Birmingham once again being home to two Premier League football clubs.”

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