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Villa Park heads Birmingham's 2018 World Cup bid
Children from Hodge Hill School accompany members of the Birmingham Stakeholder Group outside Villa Park
Children from Hodge Hill School accompany members of the Birmingham Stakeholder Group outside Villa Park

Villa Park will be the main match stadium in the West Midlands if England's 2018 World Cup bid is successful.

The news was revealed in the final version of the England pitch that was submitted to FIFA in Zurich.

A Birmingham stakeholder group showed their support for the plans by holding a simultaneous event at Villa Park.

Birmingham City Council leaders, local sports stars and representatives from West Midlands clubs were on hand.

The bid also reveals that the Premier League homes of Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers will be used as training grounds.

Stoke City, Walsall FC, Shrewsbury Town, the University of Warwick's sports facilities and Birmingham's Alexander Stadium will act as camps.

In addition, the NEC and Cannon Hill Park will host official Fan Festivals.

Birmingham City Council estimates that, if successful, the bid could benefit the local economy to the tune of £150 million.

Steve Hollingsworth, Assistant Director for Sport and Events at Birmingham City Council, said:

"The Birmingham and West Midlands bid has been a fantastic success in bringing all the clubs together. A strong bid from the West Midlands means an even stronger bid for England.

"Clearly Villa Park is the focus because it has the capacity but we're saying that in the West Midlands the international teams can have their base camps here.

"The economic benefit has been estimated at about £150 million for a city that's bidding. That's from an influx of people coming in, the hospitality and of course the world-wide media will be here."

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