- National Teams
Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu has said he doesn’t regret opting to put their showpiece event in London, but has refused to rule out moving away from England’s capital next season.
A two-year contract to hold the Final Four at London’s O2 arena was announced last year, but Bertomeu has been non-commital about taking up for the option for the second year.
“We have to take the decision by the middle of June,” Bertomeu said, talking to Ria Novosti, who went on to reveal the league has been looking at other locations but declined to name them.
Attendance for the Final Fours was disappointing by all accounts, and has led to criticism from many other European countries. Attendance for the final was tentatively listed at 15,168; whilst the third place playoff was 10,716, and the two semi-finals averaged just over 11,000 between them. At capacity, with the Euroleague’s set up, just over 16,000 fans could be seated.
However, despite this, the Euroleague’s plans for a British franchise remain undeterred, having said this weekend they want a team here within the next three years.
“Its one of the main reasons we’re here this weekend,” Euroleague brand and communications manager Alex Ferrer told reporters.
“The sooner we have a team here the better. Participation rates in the UK are not bad. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t happen. It’s a long process but three years is doable.
…It’s really important for the long term that we expand into England. It’s a country we really want to make work.”
“For us, the UK is part of our ‘target’,” added Bertomeu. “We have the ambition that all countries have a presence in the Euroleague. Not merely a promotion or a slogan, it’s pure reality. We know it’s going to take time, but (we’ll) end up getting it.”
Image Credit: Abdul Kassim