Okinawa City applies for venue of 2023 Basketball World Cup

Japan Basketball Association (JBA) announced Thursday that Okinawa City has put in an application to be the venue of a 2023 Basketball World Cup qualifying match. The city sent the application to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Wednesday. FIBA is scheduled to select the venue at a FIBA Board of Directors meeting in Dec. 2017.

JBA officials discussed about the city’s plan prior to the Wednesday deadline, and based on the fact that Okinawa City is now in the process of constructing a multi-purpose arena that can accommodate up to 10,000 people, scheduled to open in 2020, and residents of Okinawa are enthusiastic about baseball, and such a tournament would have a high economic impact and especially attract supporters from overseas, JBA decided to back the application.

The World Cup will be held sometime between the end of August and September 2023 with 32 countries participating. FIBA calls for two types of the venue. One is a single “individual venue,” and the other concept is “venues in multiple countries” to have qualifying matches in four countries. Okinawa City applied for one of the venues in multiple countries.

Okinawa City Mayor Sachio Kuwae said, “It would be a good opportunity to promote our attractions to people in other countries,” and added, “Besides, our new arena scheme with space for 10,000 spectators is admired by the Japanese basketball people. We would like to support JBA to realize the plan.”

A director of Japan Basketball Board of Directors and Okinawa Basketball Association said, “I am thrilled that if this comes true, all the world’s top-level players would come to Okinawa. I would like players from Okinawa to play in the Japanese national team.”