Euroleague Basketball have today announced that Milan, Italy will host the 2014 Final Four, and opt out of their deal with AEG to host it at the 02 Arena in London.
The 12,500-seat Mediolanum Forum in the fashion capital of Milan has been chosen to host the Euroleague’s flagship event, edging favourites Kaunas who had looked set to step in. Berlin and Belgrade were the other two venues listed but not chosen.
"The city of Milan, which is well known all around the world for its landmarks and will live a very important international occasion with the 2015 Expo, will be able to offer a wonderful scenario for an extraordinary event like the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four," Chiara Bisconti, Sports Deputy of the City of Milan said.
"I will personally make sure that our city, its streets and squares, will be full of people playing basketball for the event. We will provide and unforgettable experience for athletes, workers, visiting supporters and the citizens of Milan."
The Mediolanum Forum is currently home to EA7 Milano. The arena was opened in 1990 and will have extension work planned for August 2013.
To most though, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise as a poor pricing structure in London led to generally poor attendances this past May and with exception of the final itself, the Euroleague’s plan to entice the British public with the Final Four at one of the largest indoor arenas in Europe had been let down.
The only cause for success was the well-organised Fan Zone in Trafalgar Sqaure, which brought in thousands of fans, players and interested onlookers over the weekend. The Nike International Junior Tournament, staged along the road at the London Soccerdome was also well run, but with a lack of promotion to the British public.
The 2014 Final Four is scheduled to run from May 15-18.