Customized arenas at Birmingham 2022

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Birmingham 2022 update Aug 2020 Beach Volleyball venues Image: Birmingham 2022

Organizers of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (UK) have revealed that 3×3 basketball and beach volleyball fixtures will be played at tailor-made arenas developed on the City’s Smithfield site.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games, commonly known as Birmingham 2022, is an international multisport event for members of the Commonwealth that is scheduled to be held in Birmingham, England, from July 28th, 2022 to August 8th, 2022.

The site, which formerly lodged Birmingham’s Wholesale Markets, will feature two arenas alongside each other. The announcement was made recently, which marked two years until the start of the Games.

Organizers informed that the City-center site would work as an “urban hub” for the Games, with the venues to be shouting distance away from the Bullring shopping center. Temporary courts for 3×3 basketball and beach volleyball have been set up as part of the two-years-to-go sporting extravaganza.

Birmingham 2022 has secured the site after working closely with the host City and the respective national governing bodies and international federations. Smithfield is owned by the Birmingham City Council.

The 2022 event will mark the introduction of 3×3 basketball at the Games, with wheelchair basketball also set to be contested for the first time. Beach volleyball will be making its second appearance at the Games having made its debut at Gold Coast 2018 in Queensland, Australia.

Remarked Birmingham 2022 Chief Executive Ian Reid, “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 center 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.”

Reid added, “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 center. 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.”

Dame Louise Martin, President, Commonwealth Games Federation, recently stepped down from the Birmingham 2022 board to be replaced by Sandra Osborne QC, President, Barbados Olympic and Commonwealth Games Associations, as lack of diversity among the Games’ organizing committee drew sharp criticism.

It came after a group of senior political luminaries from Birmingham – among the UK’s most ethnically diverse cities – called for “urgent action” over the almost exclusively White executive management team and board for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.

Alexander Stadium in Birmingham will serve as the main venue for the Games. Its present capacity of 12,700 will be expanded to over 40,000 for the event, with its permanent seating capacity to be 18,000 once the curtain comes down on the Games.

Recently, it emerged that the reconfiguration work of the stadium has been delayed until April 2022, leaving just three months between the scheduled completion date and the opening ceremony.

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