A basketball capital like few on the planet will soon seize the global spotlight in its favorite sport after Euroleague Basketball announced on Wednesday that the 2018 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four will take place at the Kombank Arena in Belgrade, Serbia.
The decision marks the first time that Belgrade will host a Final Four to crown Europe’s club champion in what will be the 30-year-history of the event.
Kombank Arena is well known to fans far and wide as the venue that has attracted to EuroLeague games over the last decade some of the biggest and liveliest crowds in basketball history. It is currently the home court of EuroLeague club Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade.
Kombank, which opened in 2004, seats 18,400 fans for basketball, making it one of the largest Final Four venues ever, too. Kombank previously hosted the 2005 EuroBasket championship for men’s national teams, among other major basketball events.
“Belgrade has given so much to our sport that the chance to see the 2018 Final Four there is sure to make the Serbian capital an instant destination for all true international basketball fans,” Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO, said. “The fans there live and breathe basketball with the same passion that flows through every Final Four, making Belgrade and this event a perfect match. Everybody who loves basketball will be looking forward with great anticipation to the 2018 Final Four.”
Belgrade is birthplace to many historic clubs, including current EuroLeague participant Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade and the only continental champion from Serbia to date, Partizan. The city will witness European club basketball’s main event for the first time since previously hosting a one-day continental title game more almost four decades ago, when Maccabi Tel Aviv won the title there in 1977.
As the breeding ground for countless great EuroLeague players and coaches over the years, Belgrade has a long basketball tradition that makes it a unique place to bring together generations of stars who have given Serbia an impact well beyond the country’s size on modern world basketball.
The naming of Belgrade as the 2018 Final Four host follows the designation of Istanbul, Turkey in the same role for the culmination of the current 2016-17 season.