NBA, WNBA & USA Basketball to Travel to Manchester
March 1, 2011
A deal has been agreed by the Manchester City Council which will see The National Basketball Association (NBA), Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and USA Basketball matches played in the city in the coming years.
The first game to be played in Manchester will take place on 29th May this year featuring the 2010 WNBA finalists the Atlanta Dream. ‘WNBA Live – Manchester 2011’ will represent the first time that WNBA teams have played in Europe and only the second time an international game has been staged in the league’s 15 year history.
As part of the Global Community Cup tour, USA Basketball’s men’s and women’s national teams will both play a game in Manchester in July 2012 as part of their preparations for the Olympics in London next summer.
All the games will be played at the 18,100-capacity Manchester Evening News (MEN) Arena. The NBA is looking to capitalise on the success of the last four consecutive years in which friendly games at London’s O2 arena have all sold out. On 4-5 March the first -ever regular season games to be held in Europe will take place between the New Jersey Nets and the Toronto Raptors at the O2 Arena.
NBA Europe senior vice president Sophie Goldschmidt stated: “We are delighted to bring NBA, WNBA, and USA Basketball games to the internationally renowned sports city of Manchester. This comprehensive schedule of premier basketball events will help grow the sport for years to come. This partnership shows our ongoing commitment to deepen basketball’s footprint in the country.”
Manchester Councillor Michael Amesbury, executive member for culture and sport, added: “Manchester has a rich sporting heritage, so it is fitting to be welcoming the NBA to the city for this ground-breaking series of events.
“The matches will fit into our varied and innovative sports events calendar and we are sure that they will not only bring thousands of visitors to the city and create huge media interest, but will also inspire Mancunians to participate, officiate, spectate and volunteer in their chosen sports.”