By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
The meeting of the representatives of the 13 EuroLeague clubs-shareholders in Dubai with local basketball authorities had as an official result a pretty typical statement, however, at this point, it’s quite clear what Dubai wants.
As EuroLeague CEO Marshall Glickman said in his statement: “Of course, we are excited about the potential of Euroleague Basketball in UAE, but it is too early to address specifics”.
The potential goes hand to hand with the expansion of the EuroLeague. Per Eurohoops sources, it was clear in the conversation that steps like having the Final Four in Dubai or Emirates Airlines as the name-sponsor of the competition will follow the inclusion in the EuroLeague of a team based in Dubai.
This is the main decision that EuroLeague shareholders must make.
Dubai wants to have a team in the EuroLeague and if that’s not the case, then the rest of the plan will not be executed.
This is not an easy decision, and neither is the process of the expansion, even if at this point this is an option that feels natural for the league to grow.
That’s why this is something that can’t happen overnight and will have to translate into a long-term plan. For the record, EuroLeague has a name-sponsoring deal with Turkish Airlines until the summer of 2025, plus the joint venture with IMG expires in the summer of 2026 and IMG is already interested in expanding it for one more decade.
Meanwhile, CSKA Moscow was also present in the Dubai meeting, being in the peculiar position of taking part in a decision about the future of the league without knowing when they can be part of the EuroLeague on the court again.
That’s why Marshall Glickman said the honest truth. It’s too early at this point to access how the whole Dubai talks will end, even if the expansion of the competition with the inclusion of Arabian money seems like a no-brainer.