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SBD Global/April 4, 2014/Franchises

PSG Owners Reportedly Looking To Invest In Paris Levallois Basketball Team

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The Qatari owners of Ligue 1 side Paris St. Germain "have now put their eyes on basketball," according to Juanma Rubio of AS. The Qatar Investment Authority has "made both the PSG football and handball clubs very competitive." Because PSG "does not have a basketball club, the more simple move would be to reach an agreement with Paris Levallois to integrate the club into PSG, possibly by acquiring a majority share in the team." Euroleague Basketball CEO Jordi Bertomeu "recognized that the growth of the competition is moving toward entering big markets." Bertomeu: "We need to be in cities like London, Paris or Berlin for the impact this would mean." The project with Paris Levallois, "which could be a reality for the '15-16 season, is attractive for the competition because it would mean basketball's return to the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy," which has been renovated and now has a capacity of 17,000. There "are talks" of a €10M ($13.7M) investment to move Paris Levallois, which currently represents Levallois-Perret, a commune located in the northwest suburbs of Paris with a population of 70,000. Levallois-Perret Mayor Patrick Balkany said more than a year ago, "We are not going to transform the club. It is not Paris, it is not Saint-Germain, it is Levallois. I adore PSG but it will never be Levallois. Never." Recent conversations, however, "have been accelerating in the last six months and they point in a very different direction." Paris Levallois President Jean-Pierre Aubry said, "Our doors are open" (AS, 4/3).
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