Marking exactly two years until the XXII Commonwealth Games will begin in Birmingham, Smithfield, with its impressive city-scape backdrop, has been unveiled as the chosen location to host the 3×3 Basketball and Beach Volleyball competitions.
Smithfield, previously the site of Birmingham’s Wholesale Markets, is located at the heart of the city centre, just a short walk from Birmingham’s famous Bullring shopping centre, with views of the Rotunda and Selfridges building. Two bespoke arenas will be created side by side, creating an exciting hub to draw in new audiences.
After two previous Games appearances, at Melbourne 2006 and Gold Coast 2018, Basketball returns for Birmingham 2022 in a new 3×3 format, while Wheelchair Basketball 3×3 makes its debut as part of the largest para-sport programme in Games history. Scotland’s basketball players have impressed in both their Commonwealth Games outings to date with 6th place in 2006 and a fantastic 4th place at Gold Coast 2018 and will be hoping for further success in the new format.
Beach Volleyball returns for a second Games and the Smithfield site in the heart of Birmingham will provide a striking contrast to the coastal setting of the sport’s debut appearance at Gold Coast 2018. Team Scotland finished 5th in Gold Coast in both men’s and women’s events and will look to be right in the mix again come 2022.
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, and young basketballers from the City of Birmingham Basketball Club 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.”
CGF President, Dame Louise Martin DBE, added: “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.”