Tuesday, February 7, 2023

‘New era’: British Open squash moves to Birmingham in 2023

The British Open will bring squash’s penchant for theatre and drama to the 2023 tournament when it moves to Birmingham.

After 10 years in Hull, the sport’s oldest tournament will see opening rounds staged at Edgbaston Priory Club before an all-glass set up on stage at Birmingham Rep in the city centre from the third round onwards. The event will run from April 9-16.

It is a significant move for the sport and comes on the back of Birmingham – which last hosted the British Open in 2001 – hosting the Commonwealth Games this summer. A record prize fund of $370,000 will also be on offer and will be split equally between the male and female athletes.

Squash events held on stage is not a new concept, but one that works well given the sport’s movement, artistry and drama. In recent years, the World Championships have been staged at Rotterdam’s Luxor theatre and the Dubai Opera House for the PSA World Tour finals.

PSA chief executive Alex Gough said: “We’re excited to move the British Open to Birmingham, a city which has a rich history within the sport. 

“We started this conversation earlier this year through the Commonwealth Games Business and Tourism Programme which was aiming to attract major events to Birmingham and West Midlands, so we are delighted to be announcing this today.

“Not only has Birmingham hosted the British Open on five previous occasions – as well as the British Junior Open multiple times – the city also successfully hosted the Commonwealth Games last summer, with thousands of fans flocking to watch the squash. We want to continue this legacy with the latest installment of the iconic British Open.”

A magical moment from the 2018 British Open final as Miguel Rodriguez dives across the court against Mohamed ElShorbagy.

Gough added that it was an “exciting new era” for the tournament, with the British Open moving from Yorkshire after Hull took on hosting rights in 2013.

Gough added: “I’d like to take an opportunity to highlight the role that Dr Assem Allam played in staging the event from 2012 until the present day. Dr Allam sadly passed away recently and everyone at the PSA would like to express their gratitude for his unwavering support over the past decade.”

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We’re delighted to welcome back the British Open to the city – its return is long overdue and adds another exciting and fast-paced sport to the portfolio of major events we are developing.

Tickets for the 2023 British Open will go on sale on Dec 21. Squash fans can register their interest here.

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