The BBC Sports Personality of the Year is to be staged in Birmingham - the first time the prestigious event has been held outside of London.
The National Exhibition Centre beat off competition from venues across the country to stage December's event, which will be open to the public for the first time in its 53-year history.
At least 3,000 tickets will go on sale later this month for the show, which will be staged in Hall 9 of the Bickenhill exhibition complex and feature the cream of Britain's domestic sporting heroes and international stars.
Previously, only sportsmen and women were invited to the event which was held at the BBC TV Centre in London.
NEC officials and Marketing Birmingham chiefs hailed the switch of venues as a major coup for the city.
The BBC's director of sport Roger Mosey, said: "We're delighted to be heading to Birmingham as it was a clear choice for the 2006 Awards.
"The city has a superb pedigree for sport having staged more major sporting championships than any other European city in the last four years."
Previous winners include former England captain David Beckham, five-time Olympic medal-winning rower Steve Redgrave, and Birmingham-born racing driver Nigel Mansell.
Sports officials will be able to book a number of hospitality tables made available through various governing bodies. Money raised from tickets will also go towards staging the event.
NEC Group chief executive Paul Thandi said: "We are thrilled to bring such a distinguished show as the BBC Sports Personality to Birmingham.
"This clearly demonstrates just how much we have grown in the last couple of years."
Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, said: "To be chosen by the BBC to host such a prestigious sporting event is a great and well deserved coup."