As I am sitting here with Christophe at the Nike International Junior Tournament, we found out that the Euroleague Final Four will be in … BERLIN!
A great basketball city like Berlin gets an event like that! Since we all know that Germany isn’t the best basketball country in Europe, it’s pretty weird at first that Euroleague chose this location for next year. It is not that likely that ALBA Berlin or any other German club will be in the final four next season unless ALBA asks Dirk Nowitzki to come to Europe to finally win at least ONE title – OK, OK, enough, Mavericks fans!
So why did Euroleague choose Berlin as Final Four location? One reason could be that the last Final Four in Germany was held in Munich in 1989 and now exactly 20 years later, it will be in Germany again.
This might be the real reason though:
Euroleague Basketball and leading facilities and live sports and entertainment organization AEG announced a long-term agreement to partner on a wide range of basketball-related programming, presentation and development initiatives.
For some NBA fans, AEG and especially its owner Anschuetz, is ringing some bells: Yes, AEG is the owner of the Staples Center and a few more arenas around the globe.
Euroleague.net also announced that London will be the location for a Final Four in the coming years and YES, 02 Arena is also owned by AEG:
Also announced were plans for Euroleague Basketball to host the 2009 Euroleague Final Four in AEG’s new O2 World arena in Berlin (opening September, 2008). AEG and Euroleague Basketball also plan to have either the 2010 or 2011 Euroleague Final Four at AEG’s O2 Arena in London. AEG will also host future events in other company-owned or -operated facilities across Europe.
What does this mean for Euroleague basketball?
Since the Euroleague and Anschuetz agreed on a long-term deal, I’m pretty sure that Berlin and London will feature Euroleague teams. Right now, London and Berlin do not at allhave the strength to have an impact, but I am sure they will soon.