A venue with hosting history

Feb 20, 2019 by Euroleague.net Print
A venue with hosting history

The venue for the 2019 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four opened as Alava Pavilion in Vitoria-Gasteiz in 1991, just before the city's most famous club, Baskonia, was to begin its climb into the elite of European basketball. It had an original capacity of 5,200 fans, and when Baskonia won its first and only European trophy, the 1996 Saporta Cup, the arena played a pivotal role as host of the event.

By the time Baskonia became one of the first pioneer clubs of Euroleague Basketball in 2000, Buesa Arena was undergoing its first expansion, almost doubling its seating for basketball to 9,500. It was also renamed that year for the late regional general deputy, terrorist victim Fernando Buesa, who had helped get the arena constructed a decade earlier.

At the end of the first season of the modern EuroLeague, Tau Ceramica – as the club was then known – reached the 2001 playoff finals and hosted the third and fourth games of the series before losing in the fifth and final game.

Its expansion would help Buesa Arena become the venue for the Spanish Cup five times – in 2000, 2002, 2008, 2013 and 2017 – and also play host to the EuroCup Finals in 2010. That event, which took place while all planes were grounded in Europe due to a volcanic ash cloud, featured a busload of ALBA Berlin fans being toasted at the arena with a reception after taking a 26-hour bus ride to support their team.

Another expansion that took place in 2011 pushed Buesa Arena above 15,000 seats and allowed Baskonia to break the Spanish League record for attendance three times since then.

Turkish Airlines EuroLeague fans know Buesa Arena for the great atmosphere created by the local fans, a spirt that is sure to take over again at the Final Four from May 17 to 19.

Final Saporta Cup 1996
Spanish League playoff finals 1998
Spanish Cup 2000
EuroLeague playoff finals 2001
Spanish Cup 2002
Spanish League playoff finals 2002
Spanish League playoff finals 2005
Spanish League playoff finals 2006
Spanish Cup 2008
Spanish League playoff finals 2008
Spanish League playoff finals 2009
Spanish League playoff finals 2010
EuroCup Finals 2010
Spanish Cup 2013
Spanish Cup 2017
World Electronic Sports Games 2017
Spanish League playoff finals 2018
Euskalgym, International Gymnastics Gala, 2014 to present.