Vitoria, Spain to host Eurocup Finals!

Feb 02, 2010 by Print
Eurocup Basketball Finals Press Conference Presentation at Fernando Buesa ArenaEuroleague Basketball has announced that the 2009-10 Eurocup season will culminate with the Eurocup Finals in one of the continent's strongest basketball markets, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, on April 17 and 18. The newest Eurocup champion will be crowned at the10,000-seat Fernando Buesa Arena in Vitoria-Gasteiz, the homecourt of Euroleague club Caja Laboral. The two-day, four-team tournament will feature semifinals on Saturday, April 17 leading to the next day's title game, whose winner will not only lift the Eurocup trophy, but also qualify for the following season's Euroleague!

The Eurocup is enjoying its eighth season as the second-best league in Europe. Vitoria-Gasteiz becomes the third host city for the crowning of the competition's champion since the competition went to a single-game final format, in 2003. The title game was held four times, between 2004 and 2007, in Charlerloi, Belgium. The last two years, the Eurocup Final Eight took place in Turin, Italy.

Vitoria-Gasteiz has proven a hotbed for basketball fans for two decades or more during which Saski Baskonia's Tau Ceramica team - now Caja Laboral - became one of Europe's best-known in all of Europe, reaching four consecutive Final Fours. Besides the Fernando Buesa Arena, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Saski Baskonia also boast the state-of-the-art Bakh Sports City, a lifestyle center that includes indoor-outdoor facilities for at least eight sports, classrooms, spa, fitness, restaurants and other services.

Tickets for the Eurocup Finals will go on sale later in February.

Josean Querejeta, Saski Baskonia president

"It is an honor for us to organize this kind of event in Vitoria. Last year, the Eurocup Final Eight was broadcast to more than 70 countries. We are proud of this and want to thank Mr. Jordi Bertomeu for the confidence shown towards us, which we hope will last for even more important events. I also want to say thanks for the commitment from the official institutions locally, without whose collaboration it would be impossible to bring these kinds of events to Vitoria. Thank you all for coming today."

Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball CEO

"Thank you. I also want to thank the city of Vitoria and Josean, because in our case we only chose the city. So it's more justified that I thank them because it's they who will carry the work and the organization of these Eurocup Finals. On behalf of the Euroleague and the clubs, I thank this club that is always willing to do big things and always manages to involve all the institutions in the area to work together. This year there will be a new format. We have changed from a Final Eight to a final phase with four teams because the format with eight teams, which I pushed myself, has a problem: it's not the same to have a final phase with eight teams from one same country than having them come from all over Europe. It is hard to move the fans in on Thursdays when their team could be out of the games on Friday. I am sure this new format will allow the fans to come to Vitoria for one full weekend to see their teams. This is the reason why we changed the formula. Also, please allow me to give the right value to this competition because, right now, not knowing which teams will play in the Eurocup Finals, we have already secured television exposure in 46 European countris and 14 more in Asia. This is a big event like European basketball has never had before in a second competition. I think that what we are offering to Vitoria and Europe is the high-quality product of a top competition. No one can forget that teams like Real Madrid, Dynamo Moscow or Lietuvos Rytas have won this competition. I want to finish thanking everyone again and I am sure that the confidence we put in the city and the area will be fulfilled with no problems. Thank you."

Mr. Bernabe Unda, Counselor of Industry, Commerce, Innovation and Tourism

"I want to thank Mr. Bertomeu and the Euroleague for offering Vitoria and the Basque Country the organization of the Eurocup Finals. It is a sign that here we have earned fame for being serious when it comes to organizing top-level events. From the Basque government, we took this opportunity as soon as it was offered to us because we are sure of the success of this project. Baskonia has already shown in several Spanish King's Cup and European Cups that it can handle these kinds of events well, and we hope to see the Euroleague Final Four also here in a near future. For the government, the Eurocup Finals is a great chance to promote Euskadi at an international level. We are already sponsoring several sports clubs playing in European competitions, among them, Caja Laboral, because we think they can act as a big advertisment for our community in other countries."

Mr. Patxi Lazcoz, Mayor of Vitoria-Gasteiz

"First of all, as mayor, I want to thank Jordi Bertomeu and, of course, Josean Querejeta, who are betting on our city, making a high-level bet, and I can only say that I share the effort of putting all the value it deserves on this competition. We believe that sports activities, and especially sports activities at the elite level, like this, are one of the elements that help to generate new opportunities for the city. I can transmit the happiness of hoteliers, restaurateurs and merchants of the city, for whom today is a great day because of their great interest in these types of competitions coming to the capital of Euskadi."