Next year’s EuroLeague Final Four will take place at the Sinan Erdem Dome in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
EuroLeague Basketball confirmed the venue on Tuesday after they initially chose Istanbul as the host but held off confirming it due to the recent terror attacks in the city. Belgrade were favourites to replace Istanbul with Paris and Prague also in the running.
But as FIBA have remained defiant on keeping Istanbul as their main host city for next year’s Eurobasket, EuroLeague look to have gone in that direction as well.
This year alone, a suicide bomb attack in Sultanahmet in Istanbul killed 10 tourists on January 12. On March 13 a bombing in Kizilay Square, central Ankara killed more than 30 people, there was an explosion near a military base in central Ankara on February 17 where the Turkish authorities have confirmed that 28 people were killed and 61 injured.
There was also a suicide bomb attack against tourists on Istiklal St in Istanbul on March 19, in which four tourists died and at least 36 people were injured. There was a suspected suicide bomb attack at Bursa Ulu Mosque. The bomber was killed and seven people slightly injured, and finally on May 1, a bomb attack at the Central Police Station in Gaziantep killed two police officers and injured 23 others.
After the last attack in May, while it still remains unsafe to travel around the Turkey/Syria border, Istanbul is getting back to its popular, touristy city.
And, following in the footsteps of FIBA, choosing Istanbul to host its showpiece tournament will be seen as a massive step forward for both EuroLeague Basketball and the city itself as they hand next year’s Final Four to a basketball-crazied nation who are standing up to the war on terror.