The German city of Cologne has been awarded hosting rights to the Final Four stage of the EuroLeague basketball tournament in 2020.
The event will be held at the 18,500-seat Lanxess Arena from May 22-24. It will mark the first time that Cologne has staged the event, although Berlin hosted it in 2009 and 2016.
Cologne becomes the fourth city without a local EuroLeague club to host the Final Four this century. Next season’s EuroLeague will feature 18 teams, including two German outfits in the shape of ALBA Berlin and Bayern Munich.
In 2000, Lanxess Arena staged a domestic Bundesliga game between Telekom Baskets Bonn and ALBA Berlin that attracted 18,518 fans. At the time, this marked a record for a European indoor game and it remains the all-time best-attended game in German basketball.
Jordi Bertomeu, president and chief executive of Euroleague Basketball, said: “After Prague in 2006, Paris in 2010 and London in 2013, we again bring the continent’s biggest basketball event to a new place where our sport has thrived so that fans there can see the best basketball in Europe where they live.
“At the same time, we could not have chosen a better arena or a more vibrant, welcoming city for the many fans who will travel to the Final Four from around the world.”
Lanxess Arena has previously staged the World Men’s Handball Championship and the Ice Hockey World Championships, and has served as the host of the European Handball Federation’s Champions League Final4 for the past decade. Earlier this week, Cologne was named as one of the host cities for the International Basketball Federation’s (Fiba) men’s EuroBasket tournament in 2021.
The 2019 EuroLeague Final Four was held at the Buesa Arena in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, with Russian team CSKA Moscow emerging as champion. Last year’s event was held in the Serbian capital of Belgrade.