London to host 2013 Euroleague final four
Euroleague Basketball and AEG will team together to bring the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four to a new home in 2013. After hosting the 2012 Olympic Games, London's spectacular The O2 will remain the focus of international sporting attention as it turns its eyes to Europe's premier basketball event. The O2's 20,000-seat indoor arena is already in a class by itself in terms of quality and visitors and crowning a Euroleague champion will prove another historic event to take place at the stunning locale. The agreement to bring the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four to London includes a mutual option to play the 2014 edition at The O2 as well.
Already among the very elite arenas in the world, The O2 was opened in 2007 and has since received the International Venue of the Year honour at the prestigious Pollstar Awards five years running. This summer it will be among the centerpieces at the 2012 Olympics with the gymnastic competition joining basketball as its host events. 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 and the capability to host a bevy of sporting events. In the years since, it has become the most popular venue in the world with a who's who of athletes and musicians clamoring to perform there. The O2 has hosted tennis' ATP World Tour Finals, the National Hockey League and championship events in boxing, mixed martial arts and gymnastics and featured the world's top musical acts, including Bon Jovi, The Rolling Stones, a Led Zeppelin reunion, Elton John, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lady Gaga and the Spice Girls. With some 8.5 million visitors and nearly two million tickets sold in 2011 alone, The O2 stands alone.
This marks the first time that a European basketball title game will take place in the United Kingdom. London joins a list of European capitals and storied sites that have partnered with Euroleague Basketball to host the Final Four, which includes Istanbul this season, Barcelona in 2010, Berlin 2009, Madrid 2008, Athens 2007, Prague 2006, Moscow 2005, Tel Aviv 2004, Barcelona 2003 and Bologna 2002. In addition to the games themselves, which bring the best four teams from the Turkish Airlines Euroleague season together to decide a champion, the Final Four also features the annual Nike International Junior Tournament and other parallel events.
Mr. Jay Marciano, President & CEO AEG Europe
"We're very excited to announce that AEG and The O2 will be hosting the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in both 2013 and 2014. Whilst The O2 is no stranger to basketball - it has hosted regular season NBA games and is gearing up for the London 2012 basketball finals -we are proud that Euroleague Basketball have, for the first time, chosen to hold the Final Four at The O2 for the next few seasons. I'm personally looking forward to building upon this great relationship after two extremely successful Final Fours organized jointly at the O2 World Berlin in 2009 and at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy in 2010."
Mr. Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO
"Six years ago we signed a strategic agreement with AEG, which has already borne wonderful fruits. In these six years we have worked together, with AEG as both consultants to our teams to maximize their arena resources and as hosts for our Final Fours. After our very successful Final Fours in Berlin and Paris, in which AEG has displayed great efficiency and professionalism in developing such a major event like the Final Four, we arrive at the opportunity to host it at London's magnificent The O2, one of the most modern and spectacular arenas in the world. I am confident that the Final Four, which is already an unforgettable experience for Turkish Airlines Euroleague fans, will take another step forward in London."