When I read the news here, I had to check today’s date. OK … this isn’t an April Fool’s joke or bad journalism – this looks like legit news.
During a secret meeting between two American investors, Henry Feinberg (shareholder of Technology Crossover Ventures) and partner Steven M. Julius (president of Workplace Solutions), it was decided that they would want to invest in a basketball team in Hamburg, Germany.
Since they seek to invest a budget of €12 million, which is about 50% more than the current budget of the German champion and Euroleague participant, it seems that the partnership wants to invest into a top European team.
Hamburg right now doesn’t have a first division basketball team, but it does have an arena that would be perfect for top European basketball. Now guess who owns the Color Line Arena in Hamburg: Anschutz Entertainment Group, the same group that owns the O2 arenas in London and Berlin. With about 14,000 seats, the arena would be another top venue for the Euroleague and European basketball.
The Americans probably saw the huge success of O2 World in Berlin, where more than 10,000 people follow Alba Berlin each game.
As for the German league, Feinberg and Julius want to start their venture with the 2009/2010 season; I am sure the Euroleague will consider another wildcard spot for Germany and Europe if the team is really investing that much money. I’m also sure that Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu liked the news on his desk this morning.
What’s our take?
Of course , we’re as surprised as anybody in European and American basketball, but this is more because of the opinions you get about German basketball. First of all, people tell us that German basketball is not that attractive and not top European quality. We’ve also heard a lot that there is not enough interest in basketball within Germany – which is not true at all.
Checking our statistics, we get a huge part of traffic from Germany and our partner schoenen-dunk.de is on of the most visited Web sites in European basketball.
Another big reason is the attendance statistic from Berlin: With over 10,000 fans per game, Berlin is within the top ten of European basketball. Nobody expected this huge success.
Sometimes you have to form your own opinion to make sure you don’t follow a standard that other people set…