Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu has said that the Euroleague Final Four held last year in London was one of the great events despite the lack of British media attention.
The Final Four held at the O2 Arena failed to sell out, and with the exception of the FanZone held in Trafalgar Square, was labeled as a failed attempt by several members of the European media in an effort to crack the difficult nut that is the British sporting market, ruled with an iron fist by football, cricket and rugby.
Bertomeu though is still hopeful of a return to Great Britain and London particularly in the near future.
“Definitely we are thinking about London as a Euroleague market in the future,” Bertomeu exclusively told TalkBasket.
“It is part of our strategy. We organized the Final Four last year just for this purpose and we want to keep conducting activities together with our partners in London in order to promote the basketball and the growth of our game.”
This year’s Final Four in Milan has seen a sell out crowd for the first semi-final where Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv defeated CSKA Moscow, while a near sell-out got to witness Real Madrid beat rivals Barcelona.
It was a stark contrast to last year as just over 9,000 fans inside the 20,000-seat O2 saw Olympiacos oust CSKA Moscow, with 13,000 present to see Real Madrid once again prevail over Barcelona.
Bertomeu though says that despite low crowd numbers, London was one of the great Final Four editions.
“The experience of the Final Four in London was very good for the Euroleague,” he said. “It has been one of the best editions. It’s true that some fans had difficulties because of visas and bureaucratic problems and that is why we prefer not to experience two years ago.
“On the other side for us it was a great experience I hope for basketball as well. We are still doing things in London and in the UK, we are in talks with the [British Basketball League] and with the British Federation and we are trying to do things together.”