FIBA may be occupied with the 2014 FIBA World Cup at the moment, but there has been a big announcement made with respect to the 2015 EuroBasket event. Due to the ongoing trouble in the Ukraine, there was a need to find a new host and an extraordinary meeting in Madrid finalised the plans for the big basketball event next summer.
The rights to host the 2015 EuroBasket have been awarded to:
These four countries will host the group phase and France is also to be the host of the Final Phase. The group games will be held in Zagreb in Croatia, Montpellier in France, Berlin in Germany and in Riga, which is in Latvia. Given the need to find a host at short notice, the decision to split the group stage responsibility is a sensible one, while hosting the Final Phase in one city also makes sense. Some of the cities that missed out on the Final phase may have a difference of opinion about that but knowing that all of the teams in the Final Phase are heading to Montpellier makes it far easier to plan ahead and take care of logistics. This will be the case for fans and teams as it will be for sponsors and organisers.
The Lille Arena will welcome teams and fans for the Final Phase
The Final Phase is going to be played out in the Lille Arena, which will be able to boast a capacity of 27,000 for the EuroBasket events. It was back in June that a decision was taken that the tournament had to be relocated away from Ukraine. This was due to the unstable conditions in the nation, and at this point, FIBA Europe welcomed bids from other nations. The organisation is making a big deal of the freedom and flexibility that is provided by a multi-nation event, but there are good points and bad points to it.
It will take the event to more countries, allowing more fans to see the top stars, but there is no doubt that a communal spirit is often one of the best things about these global sporting events. However, given the timescale and situation involved with finding a host for next summer’s event, this solution is an ideal one and one which should be welcomed by most basketball fans.
The initial interest to host the tournament came from 16 nations
It is believed that 16 nations expressed their interest in hosting the tournament and then 8 countries officially submitted a bid. The 8 nations were:
Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Turkey, Poland, Latvia and Israel. This means that the nations that missed out were:
Just before the meeting of the board, Turkey withdrew their application to host any part of the tournament, while Poland and Croatia both withdrew applications to host the Final Phase, which meant by that the time of the meeting, France was the only nation looking tom host the Final Phase, which certainly helps to make the planning process easier.
The EuroBasket 2015 event will take place between the 5th and the 20th of September next year. With the 2014 FIBA World Championship still in full flow, there won’t be too much attention placed on the 2015 EuroBasket event just yet, but for fans who have witnessed the excitement and drama in Spain in the past week, this has come at the perfect time. It is always good to have an international tournament to look forward to and if anyone is looking to make plans for September 2015, their options have become a bit more focused.