Victoria Square would host 3x3 basketball and 3x3 wheelchair basketball if Birmingham win the bid ©Birmingham 2022

Birmingham have announced 3x3 basketball and 3x3 wheelchair basketball would be held at Victoria Square should they be awarded the 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

The addition would see basketball held at the Commonwealth Games for the first time outside Australia, with its only previous inclusions on the programme coming at Melbourne 2006 and next year's event in the Gold Coast. 

It would also mark the first time the 3x3 format of the sport would take place at the Games,.

Wheelchair basketball would make is debut, also in the 3x3 form.

The move has been supported by Hakeem Olajuwon, a member of the United States team that won the Olympic gold medal at Atlanta 1996. 

Olajuwon, viewed as one of the greatest National Basketball Association players in history, currently lives in Birmingham and believes the inclusion of the sport would act as a spur for younger players in the country.

"My family moved to Birmingham when my daughter came to study at university here," he said.

"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."

Should Birmingham win the bid, 3x3 basketball would debut at the Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images
Should Birmingham win the bid, 3x3 basketball would debut at the Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

Birmingham 2022 revealed Victoria Square, set against the historic backdrop of the Council House and Town Hall, would showcase the city and the sport.

The Square would be transformed into an outdoor venue, with a basketball court and asymmetric seating bowl.

With a capacity of 3,000, it is claimed the venue would deliver an intimate and vibrant atmosphere.

The addition of the sport would be enhanced by the Urban Street Festival, Birmingham 2022 claim, with the event set to be a key cultural component of the city’s bid.

"Birmingham’s bid is about more than just sport," Gary Topp, the chief executive of Culture Central, the development agency for culture and the creative industries in Birmingham and the wider region, said. 

"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."

An urban festival would take place around the event at Victoria Square ©Birmingham 2022
An urban festival would take place around the event at Victoria Square ©Birmingham 2022

The Festival would celebrate urban street sport activity, highlighting sport without boundaries, music, lifestyle, and a healthy legacy.

Urban activities would include free running, skateboarding, BMX, street dance and sport climbing.

Birmingham 2022 believe the festival will create a bridge between sport and culture, integrating both into their live sites.

Birmingham's bid centres around an upgrade to Alexander Stadium, with The Barclaycard Arena and National Exhibition Centre also proposed as key venues.

If Birmingham win, Championship football club Aston Villa would be involved with rugby earmarked for their 42,700-seat Villa Park stadium.

The city is competing against Liverpool for the English nomination with a decision due to be made by Commonwealth Games England next month.

Durban were stripped of the 2022 Games due to a lack of financial guarantees.

England are not the only country in the frame to replace South Africa.

Victoria in Canada has indicated that it will bid, while Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is another contender.

Australia has also expressed an interest, but this seems unlikely with Gold Coast hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games next year.