The final numbers and the reviews are in and what was expected is indeed true: the 2015 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Fanzone at Madrid’s Plaza de Oriente truly was the biggest and best ever! It had more visitors, more events and more participants than any previous Fanzone. And together they had more fun than anyone can count. In the end, an estimated that 400,000 people visited the Fanzone at some point between its Friday morning launch and Sunday evening closing, taking in a constant show of tournaments, contests, skills challenges and special guest appearances.
Thanks to Euroleague partners Turkish Airlines, EFES, Spalding, Citroen, New Era, EA7 Emporio Armani, Adidas and Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, among others, the Fanzone has now earned a reputation as the place where fans congregate on Final Four weekend. That goes for players, too, as many stars from the Final Four teams stopped by to mingle, sign autographs for and take pictures with their faithful supporters. And the regular booths made sure there is always excitement for the visitors. The adidas Trophy Tour gave fans a chance to get close to the trophy that Real Madrid proceeded to win on Sunday. Batucada and the EFES Euroleague Cheerleaders provided entertainment, while Intersport and New Era sold official Euroleague Final Four merchandise.
A big part of this season's Fanzone experience was the chance for almost anyone who wanted to play basketball there. There was an array of competitive games, including the adidas 3x3 Tournament, EA7 Emporio Armani Skills Challenge, Turkish Airlines Slam Dunk Contest, three-point shootouts and more. All told more than 102 teams played some 165 games at the various Fanzone competitions, which totaled more than 1,100 competitors. That number doesn’t even include the nonstop basketball action at the Citroen and Turkish Tourism baskets. Indeed, a continuous knock-out tournament sponsored by Citroen qualified two winners to play the last round on Sunday during the championship game of the Final Four on the Barclaycard Center main court!
While everyone who visited the FanZone was a winner, Euroleague Basketball salutes the winning teams at the different Fanzone events. Platano de Canaria, with Daniel Hirsch, Carlos Ruiz and Raul Diaz won the Men's Under-16 division of the adidas 3x3 Tournament, while Los Pelochos, comprised of David Casillas Pirajno, Alvaro Casillas Pirajno and Alberto Lopez Gutierrez, won the 17-and-over age group on Saturday. The Mesitas Spartans squad, featuring Alonso Fernández Abanades, Daniel Manzanero Camacho, Mikel Isasa Martínez de Icaya and Sergio Fontán Llamas, was Sunday’s adidas 3x3 Tournament 17-and-over winner. San Agustín and Brains were the respective boys and girls winners of the 5x5 tournament.
Fans were also able to compete for spots in the Turkish Airlines Slam Dunk Contest and Three-Point Shootout, and Friday’s winners, Borja Molinello in the former and Raul Martin Granada in the latter, joined stars from the ADIDAS NEXT GENERATION TOURNAMENT for Saturday’s finals. Ultimately, Martynas Varnas won the dunk contest and Laurynas Beliauskas finished atop the shootout. Both are products of Zalgiris Kaunas.