Euroleague Basketball is thrilled to announce that its signature event is returning to the German capital, where Mercedes-Benz Arena will be the site of the 2016 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four. The most exciting weekend in world basketball will be held from May 12 to 15, 2016 (games 13 to 15). Berlin most-recently hosted the Final Four in 2009 and in recent years has been a hotspot for exciting Euroleague action with hometown side ALBA Berlin in the same arena. Germany’s largest city is a natural choice to host its second Final Four and third Euroleague title game. Not only was the 2009 event a complete success, but Berlin's unwavering support of ALBA in the Euroleague has shown it to be a true European basketball capital.
"I am glad to announce that the 2016 Final Four will be back in Berlin, again in collaboration with AEG, as was also the case in Paris and London," Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO, said at a press conference on Monday in the German capital. "The Mercedes-Benz Arena is one of the best arenas in Europe, if not the best, and the city of Berlin is a very sexy destination for our fans. In 2009, we had an excellent event that marked a jump in the quality of the Final Four, and I am sure 2016 will mean another jump. I want to thank AEG and ALBA Berlin for their efforts in making this announcement possible. See you all in May 2016!"
Mercedes-Benz Arena opened in the heart of Berlin in September 2008 as one of the most modern multipurpose arenas in the world and has been one of Europe's most sought-after venues for international sporting events, concerts and entertainment ever since. It is the home court for ALBA Berlin basketball and home ice for hockey club Eisbären Berlin. Mercedes-Benz Arena is scheduled to host the Group B games at EuroBasket 2015 in September and has seen a virtual who’s who of major recording artists, from the Beach Boys to U2, perform there. It has a capacity of 16,000 spectators for basketball games.
"We are very proud that the Turkish Airlines Final Four returns to Berlin in 2016," Michael Hapka, Managing Director AEG Operations, said. "The Final Four 2009 in Berlin was a great and successful experience. So we are excited to again provide the stage for Europe's most prominent basketball event. It also continues the successful partnership between Euroleague Basketball and AEG. After 2009 in Berlin, 2010 in Paris, and 2013 in London, it is the fourth time that the Final Four will be held at an AEG venue."
Berlin as a city is among the world’s foremost sporting capitals and has been home to the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final, the IAAF World Championships in Athletics and the European Swimming Championships. Next month, the city’s Olympiastadion will host the 2015 UEFA Champions League Final.
"The Euroleague Final Four is the most prestigious and first-class club event in European basketball, and the fact that Berlin again is the venue, after having been so in 2009, demonstrates the confidence that the Euroleague has in German basketball and Berlin as a basketball capital," Marco Baldi, CEO of ALBA Berlin, said. "European competition is an important part of our identity. ALBA is one of a few clubs that have been playing in European competitions for 25 years in a row. For ALBA and for the Beko BBL it is a great motivation to have the Final Four in Berlin to stay among the basketball elite."