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SBD Global/May 13, 2013/Events and Attractions
Despite Low Attendance For Final Four In London, Euroleague Seeks U.K. Expansion
Published May 13, 2013
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SEEKING LONDON EXPANSION: REUTERS' Patrick Graham noted Euroleague officials said that Europe's top basketball competition "hopes to expand to include a British team within as little as three years." Basketball's profile in the U.K. has risen, helped by investment ahead of the Olympics last year, "but it has never taken off as a major professional sport, overshadowed by the British love of football, rugby, cricket or golf." Euroleague Brand & Communications Manager Alex Ferrer said, "It's one of the main reasons we're here this weekend. The sooner we have a team here the better. Participation rates in the U.K. are not bad. There's no reason why it shouldn't happen. It's a long process but three years is doable." Team GB "gave a creditable account of themselves at the Olympic tournament in August," beating China and pushing eventual Silver Medalists Spain to the wire in the group stages. But the U.K. game "suffered a hammer blow in December when UK Sport decided to stop funding the game's development" after it spent £8.6M ($13.2M) on the sport in the lead-up to the Olympics (REUTERS, 5/11).