FIBA World Cup Group Stage Venue Bilbao Expecting Influx Of 14,000 Fans
Bilbao, Spain is expecting the "arrival of 14,000 fans" ahead of the FIBA World Cup, which will start Saturday, according to Alfonso Herrán of AS. Bilbao is one of six Spanish host cities -- including one of four for the group stage -- for the 24-team tournament. The city is the host of Group C, which includes the Dominican Republic, Finland, New Zealand, Turkey, Ukraine and the U.S. The "14,000 fans the city is expecting will include 6,750 from Finland, 2,600 from the U.S., 2,250 from Turkey, 520 from New Zealand, 261 from Ukraine and 232 from the Dominican Republic." Bilbao's arena has the highest capacity -- 15,000 -- of any group stage venue, "and 108,000 tickets have already been sold, with 69% purchased by foreign fans." The games "are expected to be seen by an audience of 400 million people from 160 different countries, and 300 journalists have been accredited." The FIBA World Cup's economic impact on the province of Biscay's GDP is expected to be €30M ($40M). Each of these "figures was offered by city and regional officials at a press conference in Bilbao on Wednesday." The city is "expecting a financial impact in terms of image" that would be worth an investment of €4.9M ($6.5M) (AS, 8/27).