Basketball and Urban Street Festival at the heart of Birmingham’s bid

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 (

[1][1] To date, only Melbourne 2006 and the forthcoming Gold Coast 2018 Games have included Basketball

[2][2] Wheelchair Basketball has been played at previous Commonwealth Paraplegic Games, but never within the core Commonwealth Games programme



Maps & Guides

Maps & Guides for your visit.

Read More

Getting around

Getting around Birmingham couldn’t be easier...

Read More

What's on

Search for places, events & accommodation...

Read More

Festivals & events

Take a look at what’s on now and coming up here...

Read More


RT @IndependentBham: Saturday is SOLD OUT! Grab your Sunday tickets fast 👉 25 of Brum's very best food/drink trad…

RT @JQBID: If you ❤️the #JewelleryQuarter in #Birmingham, join us for the #JQFestival to discover our #artisans, #museums, #shops, #pubs,…

RT @HGIBirminghamBP: We are showing it at the Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham too with a BBQ on the terrace. @visit_bham we hope to see you al…

RT @MeetBirmingham: Exciting times ahead as @thenec unveils an extensive £4.5 million transformation... https://t.c

Festivals & events

Sporting highlights


Art Galleries

Birmingham’s art collection is as wide as it is impressive. 

Read More

Stage & Screen

From touring West End shows to showcasing local talent.

Read More


A huge arena tour or an intimate gig?  You’ll find it here.

Read More


Multiplexes, the UK’s oldest working cinema or art house cool?

Read More

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

A vibrant museum in the heart of the city with over 40 galleries.

Read More


A diverse range of dance groups and venues.

Read More

See More, Feel More

Come, stay and soak up the culture in one of Europe's most vibrant cities.

Read More


Plan the perfect shopping trip with full store, centre and brand directories.

Read More

Shopping centres

From the world-famous, 21st Century Bullring to the Victorian elegance of the Great Western Arcade.

Read More

Vibrant streets

Linking the centres are Birmingham’s bustling shopping streets, packed with major brands and boutique independents.

Read More


Don’t miss Birmingham’s amazing markets – whether it’s the 850-year old Bullring markets or the...

Read More

Jewellery Quarter

Home to more diamond rings, finishing touches and tokens of love than anywhere else in...

Read More

Getting Married in Birmingham

We have everything covered from the rings right up to the venue itself.

Read More