EuroLeague Final Four headed to Athens in 2020
According to sources, the EuroLeague Basketball Company and the Greek government are finalizing the return of the EuroLeague Final Four to Athens in 2020…
According to sources emanating out of Greece, the EuroLeague Final Four is set to make a return to Athens in 2020.
The EuroLeague Basketball Company and the Greek government are reportedly near the completion of a deal that will see the EuroLeague’s showpiece return to Athens for the first time in 13 years.
Reports indicate that the OAKA Olympic Indoor Hall, which has a capacity of 18,500, will host next season’s final tournament for the first time since the 2007 edition of the tournament was hosted in the Greek capital.
Suggestions that Athens was in the running for hosting rights to future EuroLeague events arose following a meeting between Panathinaikos owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos and EuroLeague CEO Jordi Bertomeu earlier this year.
It is also reported that the EuroLeague Basketball Company is keen to take advantage of the success FIBA experienced when the Basketball Champions League Final Four was held at the same venue last season as AEK triumphed on home court.
Of course, this news will be welcome for EuroLeague-based Greek clubs such as Panathinaikos, who have fared extremely well when final tournaments have been hosted on Greek soil.
In fact, two of Panathinaikos’ six EuroLeague titles have been achieved on home soil including when the tournament was first held in Greece in 2000. That season Panathinaikos defeated Efes Pilsen and Maccabi Elite en route to winning the second of their six titles at the PAOK Sports Arena in Thessaloniki.
Seven years later, the EuroLeague Final Four was hosted in Athens for the very first time and Panathinaikos didn’t waste the opportunity as the Trifylli edged Tau Ceramica and CSKA Moscow en route to winning the fifth of their six titles on home court at the OAKA Olympic Indoor Hall.
Before eyeing next season’s campaign, Panathinaikos and Olympiacos will be keen to make an appearance at this season’s Final Four, which is set to be hosted at the Fernando Buesa Arena in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
Home to Basque outfit Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, the Fernando Buesa Arena has a capacity of 15,716; far inferior to what the OAKA Olympic Indoor Hall will offer EuroLeague fans next season.