Birmingham 2022 unveils venue for 3×3 basketball and beach volleyball to mark ‘two years to go’!
Announced today, with exactly two years to go until the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, organisers have marked the major milestone in the countdown by unveiling the Smithfield location, which will hold two bespoke arenas side by side to stage the 3×3 basketball, 3×3 wheelchair basketball and beach volleyball competitions.
The news comes as we celebrate as a nation just 730 days to go until the opening ceremony for the biggest sporting event to be held in the UK since the London 2012 Olympics.
Smithfield, previously the site of Birmingham’s Wholesale Markets, is located at the heart of the city centre and will create an urban hub that’s just a short walk from Birmingham’s famous Bullring shopping centre.
Temporary courts for the two sports have been set up at the site as part of the two years to go celebrations, giving current and future stars of both sports the first chance to try out the location and to provide just a flavour of the sporting action that spectators can expect in 2022.
Chief Executive Officer for Birmingham 2022, Ian Reid, said: “Today marks exactly two years to go until the official opening ceremony for Birmingham 2022 and we’re on track with our plans to host a spectacular event which will not only put Birmingham and the West Midlands centre stage but will also be an integral part of the region’s recovery plan following the global pandemic, bringing jobs for local people and contracts for local businesses.
“Smithfield is a fantastic location for these two sports, allowing us to bring together thousands of local people and spectators from further afield and enabling us to create a key hub for the Games in the heart of the city centre. It’s currently a blank canvas which will allow us to transform this location into a vibrant venue for two exciting sports that will no doubt bring a festival atmosphere to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”
Chris Jenkins, Commonwealth Games Wales CEO commented;
“Time is flying and already we are coming together to celebrate just two years to go until the next Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Commonwealth Games Wales is very excited to hear the news of Smithfield and this will just amplify the excitement even more amongst the athletes across the Commonwealth.
“Sport, and the Commonwealth Games is inclusive, and we are proud Birmingham 2022 will showcase that through the various sports and events, and for the first time, the introduction of 3×3 basketball and wheelchair basketball into the Games. With the host nation so close to us, I’m confident we’ll have a strong army of supporters from across Wales. It’s the perfect opportunity to see first-hand the talented calibre of Welsh athletes we have.”
The 3×3 version of basketball is making its debut as a Commonwealth Sport in Birmingham. It will also be the first time that wheelchair basketball in any format has featured at a Commonwealth Games, a sport which is expected to be one of the highlights of the integrated para sports programme – the biggest in history for the multi-sport event, with eight sports set to feature at Birmingham 2022.
Beach volleyball will be making its second appearance at a Commonwealth Games after the sport was added to the Birmingham 2022 programme last summer. The Smithfield site, at the heart of the landlocked city of Birmingham, will provide an interesting contrast to the sport’s first Commonwealth Games appearance on Australia’s Gold Coast, however organisers revealed that its popularity with a younger audience was one of the main reasons for choosing to add the sport, identifying this as a good fit for a city that is one of the youngest in Europe, with 60% of its residents aged 30 or under.
CGF President, Dame Louise Martin DBE, said: “Today marks two years to go to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. It only feels like yesterday that the Commonwealth Games Federation awarded the city the right to stage the XXII edition of the competition, when in reality, that announcement was back in December 2017!
“Birmingham and the West Midlands are making excellent progress towards staging a fantastic competition for athletes, fans and spectators, alike, across the Commonwealth.
“Birmingham is one of the most culturally diverse cities of the UK, home to 187 nationalities which makes the 2022 Commonwealth Games really feel like a home Games for all of our 71 nations and territories. It is truly a Commonwealth city. We are looking forward to welcoming the world to the West Midlands in just two years’ time.”
More information about all of the venues for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which are located in the host city and across the West Midlands region, is available at www.birmingham2022.com.