Things are about to get gnarly in Wolverhampton. The city is set to host a major urban sports international tournament later this year, Urban Sports FISE Xperience. The three-day event – featuring BMX freestyle, skateboard, roller freestyle, scooter, parkour, breaking and more – will take over Old Market Square and the newly created Victoria Street events space.
This announcement comes after the council secured £390,000 from the West Midlands Combined Authority’s and HM Government’s Commonwealth Games Legacy Fund. Urban Sports FISE Xperience is expected to attract up to 15,000 visitors to the area with a massive boost to the local economy – bringing in £627,000. Taking place September 6 to 8, it forms part of City of Wolverhampton Council’s 5-year events strategy.
“This is a huge shot in the arm for our exciting 5-year events strategy, helping to secure the city’s status and reputation regionally, nationally and internationally as a destination of choice for visitors,” said Bhupinder Gakhal, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for Visitor City. “The Urban Sports event will further boost footfall, increase economic and social benefit and help transform the reputation of the city.”
Full details of Urban Sports FISE Xperience will be announced later this year. But, working with urban sports experts, Hurricane Group, Wolverhampton will also host an action-packed programme of both digital and physical FISE events throughout 2024. Starting in July, includes a digital event that will invite worldwide riders to share their videos online. The lucky winner will visit Wolverhampton and film in the city alongside some of the world’s best riders.
Olivier Pascal, Vice President and International Development Director at Hurricane, said: “We couldn’t be more delighted to partner with Wolverhampton to deliver what promises to be a groundbreaking Urban Sports schedule unlike anything ever seen before in the UK. We can’t wait to share more details about this exciting project.”
Securing Urban Sports FISE Xperience builds on a £22 million package of investment in the west of the city centre and follows extensive public realm improvement works to the Victoria Street and North Street areas. The news also comes following the announcement that Wolverhampton will host the Kabaddi World Cup Finals in 2025.
“Wolverhampton is an ambitious city with a can-do attitude,” said Maggie Grogan, Managing Director for Muse Midlands. “City Centre West sits at the heart of the council’s vision, and the English Cities Fund is ready to work in partnership to deliver.
“The opportunity to create new homes, jobs, and public spaces through regeneration is clear and a significant international event like this gives us further encouragement to embed outdoor events spaces as part of our future development plans for the benefit of all communities.”