The members of the Euroleague Commercial Assets assembly, meeting in Barcelona on Tuesday, the eve of the 2009-2010 Euroleague Draw, opened a new era for the competition and the sport in Europe. All 22 teams and 7 leagues voted in favour of, with only one league voting against, the new rules for a restructured, open and dynamic competition that seeks to allow more countries and more national champions to participate in the Euroleague, as well as to create a stable platform for clubs to grow in an increasingly competitive market. The plan, which achieved a near-unanimous consensus over more than a year of debate and dialogue throughout the continent, will go into effect immediately to start the 2009-10 season.
By a vote of 29 to 1, the assembly approval of the plan on Tuesday included the certification of Khimki Moscow Region as a wild-card entry to the Euroleague regular season, meaning that 22 teams from 13 countries are now entered in the competition for 2009-10, awaiting two more from the qualifying rounds. The participation of Aris BSA of Greece and Alba Berlin as two wild cards in the qualifying rounds was also approved.
The assembly also approved the calendar dates for the 2009-10 season. The two-stage qualifying rounds start on September 29 and end October 9. The 10-game regular season is set to begin October 21 and end January 14. The six-game Top 16 will open on January 27 and conclude on March 11. The Quarterfinal Playoffs, best-of-five series, will start March 23 and could extend as long as April 7. The 2009 Final Four will be from May 7 to 9.
The meeting finished with end-of-year reports from the refereeing, television marketing departments and Euroleague Basketball Institute.