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Basketball and Urban Street Festival at the heart of Birmingham’s bid
  • 3x3 Basketball and 3x3 Wheelchair Basketball added to Birmingham 2022 programme
  • Their inclusion marks a hat-trick of firsts for the Commonwealth Games
  • Birmingham’s Victoria Square will provide a stunning city centre venue
  • Birmingham 2022’s Urban Street Festival will sit alongside Basketball at the heart of the Games

Birmingham’s Victoria Square would transform into a sporting and cultural landmark for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, as the bid team unveils the city centre location as the venue for 3x3 Basketball and 3x3 Wheelchair Basketball.

Set against the historic backdrop of the Council House and Town Hall, 3x3 Basketball in the open-air of Victoria Square, will showcase the city as well as the youngest Commonwealth Games sport.

Whilst an outdoor venue, the basketball court and asymmetric seating bowl (capacity for 3,000) will be covered, ensuring 3x3 Basketball in Victoria Square will deliver an intimate and vibrant atmosphere that fans will love.

The inclusion of 3x3 Basketball and 3x3 Wheelchair Basketball would mark a hat-trick of firsts for Birmingham 2022. It would be:

  • the first time Basketball will be hosted at a Commonwealth Games outside Australia
  • the first time that 3x3 Basketball rather than traditional Basketball will be played
  • the first time that Wheelchair Basketball has been included, also in the 3x3 format

This centrepiece of urban sport in the heart of the city will be enhanced by the Urban Street Festival, a key cultural component of Birmingham’s bid which underpins the vision of ‘heart of the UK and soul of the Commonwealth’, providing a Games that embraces youth and diversity.

Blended throughout Birmingham’s broader cultural programme, the Festival will celebrate urban street sport activity: sport without boundaries, music, lifestyle, and a healthy legacy. Activities will include free running, skateboarding, BMX, street dance and sport climbing.

The Urban Street Festival will create a bridge between sport and culture integrating into the Live Sites, civic and community experience and other cultural elements of the Games and will run in parallel with the sports competition.

Olympic Gold medallist for Team USA, and one of the greatest NBA players in basketball history, Hakeem ‘The Dream’ Olajuwon, now lives in Birmingham and is a huge supporter of the Birmingham 2022 Bid:

“My family moved to Birmingham when my daughter came to study at university here. We have received a fantastic welcome and love the warmth and inclusivity of everyone we have met. I have been amazed at the passion and ability of the young players at the City of Birmingham Basketball Club in Nechells and think the inclusion of 3x3 basketball at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games would provide a huge inspiration for the next generation of players.

“Basketball promotes courage, teamwork and how to succeed which are great values for youngsters to learn, whatever their background. I’m supporting Birmingham 2022 and hope they bring the Games to this great city.”

Gary Topp, CEO, Culture Central, said:

“Birmingham’s Bid is about more than just sport. Our vision of heart of the UK, soul of the Commonwealth applies equally to our culture, education and legacy programmes and our ambition is to provide a Games that embraces youth and diversity.

“The Urban Street Festival will complement our sports programme and provide a bridge to our cultural festival. It is about celebrating the talent of our communities and encouraging activity and participation in everything from dance to BMX and creating opportunities to engage with young people across the Midlands, the UK and the Commonwealth.

“We are really excited about engaging with local communities and showing off Birmingham’s fantastic urban landscape to the world through this legacy initiative.”

Ian Ward, Chair of the Commonwealth Games Bid Company, said:

“Birmingham is synonymous with its urban structure with its streets and buildings a patchwork of the region’s industrial and manufacturing heritage, filled with a diverse and dynamic community. It made sense to recognise this within our Bid through the inclusion of urban sport in the heart of our city.

“We are really excited about bringing 3x3 Basketball to the Games and enhancing our sports programme through the parallel Urban Street Festival. This will help leave a legacy of inspiring a new audience to engage with sport and activity.”

Birmingham is a world leader in delivering major sporting and cultural events, including: the ICC Champions Trophy and The Ashes at Edgbaston; Rugby World Cup fixtures at Villa Park; Diamond League athletics meetings at the Alexander Stadium; the Aegon Classic tennis championships at the Edgbaston Priory Club; the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships; and the UCI BMX Championships.

The city also hosts over 50 festivals annually, including Simmer Down, Nowka Bais: traditional Bangladeshi Dragon Boat Racing, and the major Weekender and International Dance Festivals that fill Victoria Square and the city centre with activity, local talent and international excellence every year.

Birmingham’s festivals celebrate the urban and community heart of the city with everything from film to heavy metal, books to jazz. Each year a new theme is explored that celebrates a key facet of city life: 2016 was youth, 2017 South Asia and 2018 will be Movement.

Backing #BrumBid2022

How you can support Birmingham 2022:

  • Follow us on Twitter (@birminghamcg22)
  • Like us on Facebook (Birmingham2022)
  • Join in the conversation (#BrumBid2022)
  • Visit the website (

Media enquiries

For further information about the Birmingham 2022 bid please contact:

Four Communications (PR agency)

Catherine Eastham
Practice Director, Sport
020 3697 4304 / 0777 579 3409 or

Birmingham City Council
Deborah Harries
Head of Public Affairs
0121 303 4777 / 07825 979046

Press Office
0121 303 3287

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