Estonia pulls out of running to host 2017 European Basketball Championships (1)
The Estonian Basketball Association said it will not enter the race to host the 2017 EuroBasket tournament, after talking with FIBA's European heads.
The obstacle in hosting such a tournament is Estonia's lack of a large basketball venue. FIBA requires a 10,000-seat basketball arena. Saku Suurhall, Estonia's biggest venue, seats 7,200 during basketball games.
“Sadly the criteria of FIBA Europe for an application is still a venue which holds 10,000 people. We do not have that. It is regrettable that we lose a large part of opportunities in such an important economic sector as sports tourism,” Estonian Basketball Association president Jüri Ratas said, adding that a lack of such a venue does not only hurt basketball, Postimees reported.
The 2017 tournament was due to be held in Ukraine, but the conflict-hit nation has pulled out.
The Estonian national basketball team participated in the tournament this year, narrowly missing out on a round of 16 place.
The government recently said it has earmarked 5 million euros to upgrade the national football stadium, increasing the A. Le Coq stadium's capacity from 10,000 to 15,000 people in hopes of hosting the 2018 UEFA Super Cup final.