FIBA, the international basketball federation, has announced that the 3x3 World Tour will expand from 12 to 14 events this year, with the final to take place in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
The increase means the series will start earlier and end later than previous editions. The season opener will take place in Doha, Qatar on 2 April, with the final in Riyadh in late-November.
Prize money has been increased from $2.1 million to $2.8 million.
The expansion of the tour comes with 3x3 basketball set to make its Olympic Games debut in Tokyo this year.
Alex Sanchez, FIBA 3x3 managing director, said: “It is a big year for 3x3 and we’re excited to see our number one competition—the FIBA 3x3 World Tour—continue to expand so quickly. We’re proud to attract new amazing cities like Riyadh for the final—at the same time—to return after many years to exceptional cities where World Tour history was made.”
The World Tour was launched in 2012 and features teams representing cities.
This season, five events will be held before 25 July, when the 3x3 circuit moves to Tokyo for the Olympics.
Sanchez said: “We will arrive in Japan two weeks early, with the 5th Masters of the season in Utsunomiya, following Olympic Acclimatisation Camp for our best athletes to get use to the Japanese climate and deliver the best show possible to the fans.”
The World Tour final in Riyadh is the latest in a string of events to be awarded to Saudi Arabia, as the kingdom looks to raise its sporting profile.
These have included the Super Cups in Italian and Spanish soccer, events on golf's European Tour and Ladies European Tour and the world heavyweight boxing title fight between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr.