Manchester Giants games will return to the city centre in 2022.
The top-flight basketball side will host a number of practice and exhibition matches at Enterprise City – just a minute away from Spinningfield – in their bid to engage new fans in Manchester. This new district, which includes the Old Granada Studios, is due to fully open next year and is located between St. John’s Gardens, the Museum of Science and Industry, and Castlefield.
It is yet more evidence of the franchises new direction – resurrected in 2012 and now with ‘serious ambitions to enter European competitions within the next three seasons.’
Jamie Edwards of Manchester Giants said:“We want to work with great people and brands who are aligned with our vision to impact the region on and off the court. This cannot be just about the game. Manchester loves sport and has a great infrastructure, aswell as the desire to see top level basketball in the city.”
“The Giants had previously finished consistently at the bottom of the British Basketball League (BBL) but have recently turned this around.
“The Giants’ rebrand became a symbol of re-evaluation, like the signing of GB national team captain, Dan Clark, who played at the highest level in Europe and joined with an eye on contributing to the transformation of the sleeping giant.”
The developers behind Enterprise City, Allied London, have plenty of experience in Manchester developments owing to their extensive portfolio which includes Spinningfields – now home to over 165 commercial organisations.
Through this partnership Enterprise City will also build corporate and social community spaces around the Giants including an ‘inspired sports tech’ hub.
Enterprise City founder Michael Ingall said: “An important part of any community activity is sport. “Basketball is a great social connector; it has wide appeal globally amongst all communities and is culturally influential and inclusive.
“We have chosen to support the Giants with the aim to help them grow corporately and to contribute to their future growth plans.
“The Giants have ambition and want to introduce the game to more young people and new audiences across the region.”
He added: “We have quickly established an Enterprise City brand in the heart of Manchester that’s becoming well known for a diverse and broad range of facilities and infrastructure; from workspaces to TV; film studios, performance and event spaces, hospitality, and living spaces. “Our work will create a varied business and social community and a brand that is known for diverse community-led activity, supporting everything, from music to art, culture and commercial initiatives.”
The Giants, who currently sit fourth in the BBL standings, host the Glasgow Rocks on Friday night before a BBL Cup semi-final double header against the same opponents with real ambitions to claim their first piece of silverware of this new era.
Edwards added: “We are not just developing a basketball club. We are developing people on and off the court so this partnership with Enterprise City allows us to expand beyond basketball in the heart of a district that facilitates and inspires growth and change.”
Words – Tum Balogun
Photo – Enterprise City