On Valentine's Day, Birmingham proves it loves sport
In March Birmingham will once again prove that it loves sport when the city hosts three major sports events in three Commonwealth sports, all in one venue - Arena Birmingham.
The city centre venue has a rich sporting heritage and has been hosting sports events for over 26 years and next month will play host to the IAAF World Indoor Championships from the 1 to 4, the All England Badminton Open Championships from 14 to 18 and the Gymnastics World Cup on the 21 and 22 March.
The IAAF World Indoor Championships is returning to Arena Birmingham following a triumphant staging of the event 15 years ago, when praise was heaped on the venue and the city. With around 600 athletes from 150 countries taking part, the event will be the largest indoor sports event that has been staged in Birmingham for many years and it is the biggest global athletics event to be held in 2018.
The opening session on March 1st will see the men’s and women’s high jump being held simultaneously for the first time ever and with the world’s best expected to compete it will provide a spectacular opening to the Championships.
British number one, Robbie Grabarz, was at Arena Birmingham today, to celebrate the city’s love of sport and said: “I love competing at Arena Birmingham. The atmosphere is always fantastic as the spectators are so close to the action. I know the high jumpers will do their very best to put on a great show to kick start the Championships and with some fantastic performances already this season it’s definitely going to be an exciting competition.”
Claudia Fragapane, recently announced as one of the British gymnasts who will compete in the Gymnastics World Cup on the 21 and 22 March was also at Arena Birmingham this morning and is excited about coming back to the venue in just over a month: “The Gymnastics World Cup will bring the best gymnastics nations and gymnasts to Birmingham. I’m really excited to be part of a strong British team and I can’t wait to perform in front of local crowd. This is an amazing time to be a sports fan in Birmingham with so many great events coming up and the Commonwealth Games happening here in four years’ time.”
The hat-trick of sporting events in March will be completed by the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships which returns to the city for the 108th edition of the Championships. With 155 matches and over 50 hours of live badminton to enjoy, the 2018 event will serve up five days of world class action.
Birmingham has long been known as a city of sport, a label which it has truly earned after staging a multitude of international sporting events, as well as major participation events, in and around the city and with the Commonwealth Games having been awarded to Birmingham for 2022, this reputation is set to be further enhanced in the coming years.
Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council said: “Birmingham loves sport and it’s something which this city is extremely passionate about. Hosting major sports events puts Birmingham in the spotlight, brings thousands of visitors to the city and helps to inspire young people from across the city and beyond.
“March is going to be a special month for Birmingham with three major events in three Commonwealth sports and it will give local people a taste of what’s to come in four years’ time.”
Phil Mead, Managing Director for Arena Birmingham added: “These prestigious events will not only bring the world’s best athletes, but will also attract audiences from across the globe. All of them provide a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase what the Arena and Birmingham has to offer to sport and the live events industry.”
The sporting action will actually get underway this weekend when Arena Birmingham will host the Spar British Athletics Indoor Championships, when Robbie Grabarz will be joined by hundreds of other British athletes attempting to gain selection for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for the IAAF World Indoor Championships.
Tickets for all of the sports events being staged at Arena Birmingham are on sale at www.theticketfactory.com where you can also find key information about each one.