By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The basketball landscape will change on a global level after the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Basketball Champions League is aiming at being significantly improved for the 2020-21 season.
The competition had the ability and the green light from the quarterfinals clubs to move the possible end of the season at the end of September – hoping that even fans will be able to join a Final Eight – and the management is using this summer to become stronger.
BCL has already announced the additions of Darussafaka, Bilbao, and Rytas Vilnius, and those three clubs are already an improvement. You can argue that Darussafaka and Rytas Vilnius are not in their heyday. Still, especially Bilbao is once again emerging as one of the top Spanish teams, and having a 10.000 seat arena, which is a future candidate for a Final Four, doesn’t hurt at all.
It’s one more proof that the Basketball Champions League is thinking longterm, trying to build its brand and take its own space in European basketball. The formation of the FIBA ClubCo, which was announced in January, gives a different commercial approach to things. Plus, there’s also the financial power of FIBA that can be considered a guarantee for all operations.
However, the most interesting angle of the moves made by the Basketball Champions League is their approach to the COVID-19 crisis. Having the benefit of flexible commercial deals and also not a fixed host of the Final Four, their fast decision to postpone the end of the season gave them the chance to concentrate more on the future and not on ways to resume their games.
Of course, a season’s end in September or October is not a “perfect solution” as CEO Patrick Comninos admitted to Eurohoops. On the other hand, the benefit of focusing on the next steps and having a lot of time to do so is without a doubt the right path for the Basketball Champions League.