Euroleague Basketball is proud to announce that the 2021 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four is headed for Cologne, Germany, where it had been scheduled last spring but could not be held due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
With a conviction to uphold their shared goals together, Euroleague Basketball and Cologne have agreed to seize upon a new opportunity to bring the continent's most elite basketball to Germany's fourth-largest city.
Cologne will become the epicenter of international basketball from May 28 to 30, 2021, and Lanxess Arena, which has been hosting major sports events for 21 years, is the stage on which a new EuroLeague champion will be crowned.
"In the same way that we honored the aspirations of the teams whose seasons were cut short last spring, we were equally determined to bring the Final Four to Cologne for the same compelling reasons that we originally chose to go there," Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO, said. "Staging the first Final Four of this decade in a superb arena and a vibrant major city without its own team in our competitions shows how dedicated we are to bringing new fans to the EuroLeague."
Cologne joins two-time host Berlin, which did the honors in 2009 and 2016, as the second German city to host the event this century. Cologne becomes the fourth city without a local Euroleague Basketball club to host a Final Four this century. The 2021 Final Four will culminate a season in which two German teams, ALBA Berlin and FC Bayern Munich, will be among 18 fighting for glory, highlighting the importance of Germany as a strategic market for Euroleague Basketball.
As the largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia, the biggest state in Germany by far, with 18 million inhabitants, Cologne is uniquely qualified to meet the challenge of taking the Final Four to new heights. From its world-famous cathedral to its reputation for tolerance and good times, Cologne has been a magnet for diverse groups of visitors. Likewise, Lanxess Arena has put on numerous global-scale sports such as the 2007 and 2019 World Men's Handball Championship and the 2001, 2010 and 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships. Lanxess Arena also hosted NBA Europe Live in 2006, which featured that year's EuroLeague champion, CSKA Moscow, and runner-up Maccabi Tel Aviv against the Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns of the NBA.
Lanxess Arena has a capacity of more than 18,000 seated spectators that will be adapted to the Final Four configuration. In 2019, the arena was ranked the third most successful event arena in the world with almost two million sold tickets at around 180 events.
The Mayor of Cologne, Mrs. Henriette Reker, is more than pleased with the Final Four coming to her city next year: “Euroleague Basketball‘s announcement that Cologne’s LANXESS arena is to host the 2021 Final Four is an important signal in general as well as for Cologne as a city of sports. It’s essential we do everything we possibly can to make sure sporting and cultural events really can take place again – with spectators – next year. I’m delighted for the basketball teams, the fans, LANXESS arena, which has been hit hard by the corona pandemic, and, of course, our city that, after the cancellation of the 2020 event, EuroLeague has decided to keep Cologne as the host.”
Over the last two decades, the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four has established itself as a can't-miss event on the global sports calendar, one that surpasses even the excitement of the four do-or-die games that decide the continental champion. Each Final Four is a celebration that fills the streets of the host city with countless ways to enjoy the game, while at the same time spreading goodwill through corporate social responsibility events and by linking generations of basketball lovers from school children to legendary players. All of that positive energy will build up over the course of the 2020-21 season, as every ball that bounces takes fans another step closer to the ultimate drama – the 2021 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four in Cologne!