Bercy and basketball: great together!

Apr 27, 2010 by Print
Palais Omnisports Paris-Bercy
When the sporting spotlight shines down on an event in the City of Light, it usually lands the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, which makes it the perfect host venue for the 2010 Final Four! This multi-purpose arena has hosted world-class sporting events such as the Davis Cup final, IAAF World Indoor Championships and the World Figure Skating Championships in addition to thousands of musical concerts. Paris-Bercy, which is located on the banks of the Seine and nestled in between the French Finance Ministry and the Parc de Bercy gardens, is well known for its pyramidal shape and grass slopes on the outside. It has great importance in the basketball world due to the multitude of major events and classic games it has witnessed.

Paris-Bercy opened its doors in 1984, but it wasn't until 1991 that it became an important stop on the basketball map. That year it hosted its first Euroleague Final Four, in which POP 84 Split downed Barcelona to lift its third consecutive Euroleague title. Toni Kukoc, Zoran Savic and Velimir Perasovic led Split to European basketball's second-ever and most recent three-peat. The Final Four returned to Bercy in 1996 and saw a player who was born there and left, Dominique Wilkins, lead Panathinaikos to its first Euroleague title. In the breathtaking final, Panathinaikos beat Barcelona 67-66 on a last-second blocked shot by Stojko Vrankovic to secure the first such title for a Greek team. Bercy also hosted EuroBasket 1999's medal rounds, in which Italy lifted the trophy after downing Spain 56-64 in the title game. One of the EuroBasket 1999 winners, Gianluca Basile of Regal FCB, will be back in Bercy for the 2010 Final Four.

In 2001, Bercy was home of the 2001 SuproLeague final four, when Maccabi Tel Aviv topped Panathinaikos 81-67 to lift its first European trophy in 20 years. In 2006, Bercy was one of the arenas chosen as part of the NBA Europe Live Tour, hosting a high-profile game between the San Antonio Spurs and Maccabi. Furthermore, Bercy regularly hosts the French League and the French Cup finals, as well as its All-Star game. No arena in France and few anywhere in Europe can compete with the European basketball history that has taken place at the Paris-Bercy. And soon the 2010 Euroleague Final Four will create more special memories onone of the continent's main stages for the game of basketball.