London's O2 Arena is to host The Euroleague Final Four basketball finals for the following two years. The annual Final Four event, has been run since 1988 and consists of the season's top four teams fighting it out in two semi-finals and a final over a classic weekend of basketball. Olympiacos have just completed an historic victory in Istanbul, defeating CSKA Moscow 62-61with the winning points coming in the dying seconds of an epic encounter.
London, presently gearing itself up for this summer’s Olympic Games, has been selected as the venue for Europe’s top basketball finals to be staged at the prestigious O2 Arena. The 20,000 seat stadium has already hosted a series of popular NBA exhibition games and has proved extremely popular with the players and the fans. Basketball is growing in the UK and both Great Britain men's and women's teams have qualified to play at this year's Olympics for the first time.
Firmly established among the elite sporting arenas in the world, The O2 was opened in 2007 and has been awarded the International Venue of the Year title at the Pollstar Awards for five years running. This summer it will be staging the Olympic basketball and the gymnastic competition. The O2 was built on the site of the former Millennium Dome to create a modern arena with state-of-the-art acoustics for concerts as well as being a spectacular venue for top sporting events. The O2 has hosted tennis’s ATP World Tour Finals, the National Hockey League and championship events in a wide range of sports. It has also staged many of the world’s top musical acts, including Bon Jovi, The Rolling Stones, a Led Zeppelin reunion, Elton John, Lady Gaga and the Spice Girls. With some 8.5 million visitors and nearly two million tickets sold in 2011 alone, The O2 is right up there with the very best venues in the world.
The decision to stage the finals at London’s O2 Arena was announced in Istanbul before Sunday's 2012 Euroleague final. President and CEO of Euroleague Jordi Bertomeu said that "We're trying to help the growth of basketball in the UK and this is one of the ways we can make a contribution." Although there is a shortage of British teams at club level, Bertomeu believes that the Euroleague finals will continue to raise the sport's profile in the UK.
Bertomeu added that "The success of the NBA games proves that the interest is there from the public. The British team participating in the Olympics has to add value to promoting the game. In London, we have an amazing building in the O2. When we are deciding cities, it's a combination of the venues and the infrastructure. I'm sure the fans will come."
You will of course be able to reserve your tickets in advance for the Euroleague Final Four 2013 at the O2 through Ticket2Final.com.