The Basketball Champions League (BCL), the European clubs competition, has announced this year’s season-ending Final Four tournament will take place in the Spanish city of Malaga.
The tournament, comprising semi-finals, a third-place game, and a final, will run from May 12 to 14 at Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena, the 11,300-capacity multi-purpose sports arena and home to host club Unicaja.
This year’s edition will be the first time Unicaja, the reigning champions of the Spanish Copa del Rey knockout competition, will compete in the Final Four, while Germany’s Telekom Basketball and Israel’s Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem will also make their inaugural appearance at the event.
The three debutants will be joined by defending champions Lenovo Tenerife.
BCL chief executive Patrick Comninos said: “In approaching potential participants to the Final Four with the opportunity to organize this year’s pinnacle event, we saw great enthusiasm from host candidates, a clear validation of the continuous growth and interest for this event.
“We received concrete commitment from a number of clubs, all providing excellent conditions for hosting the event. But ultimately, we chose Malaga as the destination that goes beyond guaranteeing that the 2023 BCL Final Four will be a successful event.
“We chose Malaga and Unicaja because the fans’ dedication, enthusiasm, and convergence with their team has scaled new heights this season, especially after the conquest of the Copa del Rey.
“They convinced us that their energy will convert the 2023 Final Four into the sort of legacy event which leaves an inedible stamp on the city, the region, and the local community.”
The announcement sees Spain retain hosting rights to the event for a second year, with Bilbao staging last year’s edition, which reverted to its traditional four-team format after being staged as an eight-team event in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
This year’s BCL regular season, which started on October 3, featured 32 clubs from 16 countries.
The BCL was launched in 2016-17 by basketball’s world governing body FIBA and a group of top European national leagues as a merit-based alternative to the elite EuroLeague overseen by Euroleague Basketball.
Starting from the 2023-24 season, Dyn Media, the new sports streaming platform due to launch on August 23, will provide live coverage of BCL in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland as part of its three-year media rights deal running through the 2025-26 season.
The deal was brokered by international sports marketing agency Sportfive, which distributes media and sponsorship rights to the competition as part of a three-year deal that started ahead of the 2021-22 season.
In March last year, the BCL, announced a new data partnership with French analytics firm Viziball in a deal running until 2026.
Under that deal, the company has provided BCL with game overviews, post-game analysis, and player profiles and comparisons that are available to fans, clubs, and players, as well as broadcasters and publishers.