FOUR HOSTS FOR EUROBASKET 2015

Croatia, France, Germany and Latvia will be the co-hosts of EuroBasket 2015, with the Lille Arena to host the knock out stages from the last 16 through to the final.

The decision, taken by FIBA Europe’s board in Madrid, ends a protracted search for a replacement for Ukraine who were forced to pull out of staging the tournament due to political unrest in the country.

“It was an idea we looked at already in 2010 with the joint bid between Germany, France, Croatia and Italy,” said FIBA Europe secretary-general Kamil Novak.

“We have the challenge now to organise EuroBasket in less than a year. It’s very difficult. We changed the conditions so it’s not a joint bid but we gave any federation the chance to host the first round.

“I think it’s the logical step and for us the opportunity to test how this works. And every first-round arena will have a minimum capacity of 10000 and we hope they will be full because they will have the home countries there.”

The championships, to be held from September 5-20, will see the group stages divided between Berlin – shared between two arenas, the13600-capacity 02 World and smaller Max-Schmelling Halle – Zagreb, Montpellier and Riga.

The final rounds will be at the brand-new 27000-capacity arena in Lille which also serves as a football stadium but has a retractable pitch and is modelled on the Cowboys Stadium in Texas.

“It’s a huge step forward,” Novak added. “This was the major factor, as well as how they hosted the EuroBasket Women in 2013. I have to say their bid was almost perfect.”

Prior to the Board meeting, Turkey withdrew their candidature from hosting any part of the tournament while Poland and Croatia withdrew their candidature to host the Final Phase of the tournament leaving France as the only candidate.

It is understood with higher capacity than previous tournament, ticket prices will be kept deliberately low in an attempt to push up the attendances to sell out range.

The event, of course, will also serve as one of the feeder qualifying tournaments for the Rio 2016 Olympics. And France, who will be defending their title, will now profit from home advantage.

“To get to go for the Olympics and defend your titles is pretty good,” said French forward Nicolas Batum. “I think it will be crazy. People will be full at the arenas and supporting us.

“I went to the one in 1999 when I was ten years old. It was a big thing for me and to now be a part of it is special.”

The draw will be made before Christmas, FIBA Europe officials confirmed.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Print

You must be logged in to post a comment Login