Euroleague Basketball is proud to announce that the 2014 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four will be held at the Mediolanum Forum in the historic basketball capital of Milan, Italy from May 15 to 18 next year. Milan joins a long list of the most dynamic cities in Europe that have made the Final Four one of the most recognized sports events in the world. Besides being Italy's second-biggest city and a world-renowned icon of fashion, Milan has been home to a string of basketball playing legends such as Bill Bradley, Dino Meneghin, Bob McAdoo, Mike D’Antoni, Dejan Bodiroga and Sasha Djordjevic.
"The city of Milan, which is well known all around the world for its landmarks and will live a very important international occasion with the 2015 Expo, will be able to offer a wonderful scenario for an extraordinary event like the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four," Chiara Bisconti, Sports Deputy of the City of Milan said at Thursday's 2013-14 season draw in Barcelona. "I will personally make sure that our city, its streets and squares, will be full of people playing basketball for the event. We will provide and unforgettable experience for athletes, workers, visiting supporters and the citizens of Milan."
Milan boasts a Final Four legacy that reaches back further than any city in European basketball. Almost 50 years ago, in 1966, Milan co-hosted the very first Final Four to decide a European club champion, with hometown club Olimpia Milano winning that year's continental title. That was the first of two consecutive seasons during which the Final Four format was tested in Europe, then put aside until it became the standard again almost two decades later. When the Final Four returned to stay in European basketball in 1988, again it was Olimpia Milano lifting the trophy, its third as kings of Europe.
Mediolanum Forum is the homecourt of Turkish Airlines Euroleague club EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, the most-crowned team in Italian basketball, and a storied venue for basketball. It will be hosting the Final Four for the first time since opening in 1990. After extension work planned for August 2013, the capacity of the arena will be over 12.500.
Milan comes after London hosting the 2013 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four last May, which has been evaluated by Euroleague Basketball and co-host AEG as a successful event for its common objective of growing basketball awareness in the United Kingdom. The signature event in European basketball not only was enjoyed by UK fans during games at The O2, but also among other places, such as the biggest sports event ever held in Trafalgar Square, the Final Four Fan Zone.
Euroleague Basketball, together with AEG and other local organizations such as the BBL and the City of London, will continue their common efforts to keep on investing in the growth of the sport in the United Kingdom through a series of initiatives already started last May, such as One Team, One London and its collaboration with the BBL Foundation, while studying new opportunities that may bring other events to the territory and a potential Final Four in the future.