Milton Keynes basketball team to play at Copper Box after London 2012
Wednesday, 08 August 2012
August 8 - MK Lions have been confirmed to play in £43 million (€53 million/$70 million) 6,000 capacity Copper Box arena on the London 2012 Olympic Park following this summer's Games.
The Milton Keynes-based British Basketball League (BBL) club were forced to leave their ground at Bletchley Leisure Centre and had hoped to play in the arena next to the stadium:mk, but this fell through and they were unable to find a new home locally.
However, after securing the move to the London 2012 venue (pictured top), which hosted the Olympic handball competition, Lions chief executive Vince Macaulay can now be confident of an optimistic future for the top flight club.
The basketball team will be one of several organisations to use arena, which will be the third biggest facility of its kind in London, and is also expected to be used as a major community facility and to stage concerts and exhibitions.
Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) were appointed in January to run the multi-use facility after the Games, which is expected to attract up to 500,000 visitors per year.
With the Olympics still ongoing and the new BBL season just over six weeks away, the rebranded London Lions will not be able to move into the Copper Box until next year, but will instead play their home games – the first against league champions Newcastle Eagles on September 23 – at the Crystal Palace National Indoor Arena.
It has also been confirmed that the club will no longer play in their tradition black and gold strip, with the new colours having yet to be revealed.
April 2012: East London youngsters enjoy 2012 Olympic legacy benefits in advance of the Games
January 2012: The Copper Box rubs up British Handball the wrong way
January 2012: Venues renamed as London 2012 take over Olympic Park
January 2012: Legacy of three more London 2012 venues secured
July 2011: Olympic Park Legacy Company shortlists three operators for Aquatics Centre and Multi-Use Arena