British Basketball ponders bid to host 2015 and 2017 men's European Championship Finals

Friday, 26 November 2010
By Tom Degun

British_Basketball_logoNovember 26 - British Basketball has appointed Capita Symonds Sport & Leisure Consulting to undertake a feasibility study into the potential of hosting the men's European Championship Finals.

Both the 2015 and 2017 events will be considered, with well-known British indoor venues such as the O2 Arena, the Basketball Arena on the Olympic Park, the Liverpool Echo Arena, the Manchester MEN Arena and the new Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Arena likely candidates to host matches.

The study, which is jointly funded by British Basketball and UK Sport, is part of British Basketball's strategy to provide a lasting legacy for the game in the UK after the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Chris Spice, the British Basketball performance director leading the study, said: "If we do want to be a regular player on the largest basketball stage in Europe and if we are serious about creating a lasting legacy from our participation in the London Olympics in 2012, then we have to host such events as the EuroBasket finals.

"We are grateful that our vision is being supported by UK Sport and we thank them for their assistance in supporting this feasibility study.

"We hope the entire basketball community in the UK will be excited by the prospect of hosting a major sporting event on this scale and look forward to their involvement."

The consulting team will be vital a vital part of the study having completed a number of similar projects in recent years such as the World Athletics Championships, the 2014 European Swimming Championships and 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Meanwhile Capita Symonds, a division of the Capita Group, will also play a vital role in the study it has huge resources which include more than 4,500 employees in over 60 offices across the UK.

If the findings of the study prove positive, and it is given the go ahead by British Basketball and the home nations, a formal expression of interest could be required in early 2011.

Although British Basketball is playing a leading role in the feasibility study, any formal bid would also need the full backing of the UK basketball home nations, but they already appear to be fully supportive of the plan.

Keith Mair, chief executive of England Basketball, said: "England Basketball strongly supports the initiative to obtain UK Sport funding to assess the feasibility of staging the highly ranked men's EuroBasket tournament in 2015 or 2017.

"Along with the World Championships and Olympic Games this event ranks as one of the big three of international basketball and would attract a great many visitors along with vastly increasing the profile of the sport in Britain."

Basketball Scotland chief executive Kevin Pringle said: "This is another example of the home nations working together for the good of the sport.

"We all recognise that the potential of hosting in either 2015 or 2017 can only have a positive impact on the sport."

Will Jones, President of Basketball Wales, added: "It is important for the long term growth that we are continually looking to unearth opportunities for the sport in the UK.

"As one of the home basketball nations, it is imperative we offer our full support and backing to the prospect of hosting a European Championship."

The British men will be confident of doing well at the London 2012 Olympics, where under the leadership of top American coach Chris Finch, they are set to feature two NBA superstars in Chicago Bulls legend Luol Deng and Detroit Pistons icon Ben Gordon.

Contact the writer of this story at tom.degun@insidethegames.biz
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