CSKA to play a couple of EuroLeague home games at Kaliningrad

2019-09-23T09:52:01+00:00 2019-09-23T09:52:01+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

23/Sep/19 09:52


Round 16 and 17 of the 2019-20 EuroLeague season will feature a different home venue for CSKA Moscow.

By John Askounis/ info@eurohoops.net

CSKA Moscow announced that Dimitrios Itoudis’ team will host two home games of the 2019-20 EuroLeague regular season at Kaliningrad.

The affairs will be versus AX Armani Exchange Milan on December 26th and Panathinaikos OPAP on January 3rd. The Yantarny Sports Palace will be CSKA’s home venue on Gameday 16 and Gameday 17.

Per CSKA: Our team will play its home games against Olympia Milan (December 26) and Panathinaikos Athens (January 3) at the Yantarny Sports Palace at Kaliningrad.

The Yantarny was open in 2009. Its capacity is 7,000. The arena is considered a home court for Lokomotiv Kaliningrad Region Women Volleyball Club. It also hosts the home games of Men and Women Russian National Teams. Currently the sports palace undergoes the EuroLeague licensing procedure.

The date of ticket sales start will be announced soon.

Anton Alikhanov, Kaliningrad Region Governor:

“Our city has probably the best in the country streetball court as part of the MOST Public Space. We also have the experience of hosting FIBA competitions, the young players from Kaliningrad participated and won medals at the Summer Universiade and II European Games. But we never hosted the club basketball games of highest level in the world, where CSKA plays. I am sure that this event will be sold-out at our Yantarny Sports Palace. The arena is unofficially considered the best specialized volleyball palace in Russia, it is ready to host
2022 Men’s Volleyball World Championship. So I am sure it will also successfully host the best European basketball games. Welcome to Kaliningrad!”

Andrey Vatutin, CSKA PBC President:

“This year we became the victims of the late announcement of the EuroLeague schedule: the calendar came out in July, and at that moment Megasport and USH CSKA were already booked, as well as other arenas in Moscow. In the industry of concerts and New Year events nobody waits for you to find out if you have games on the New Year holidays.

As soon as news of our difficulties became public, CSKA got a dozen of offers from different cities of Russia and other countries. I would like to thank everyone who showed detailed interest. Our initial priority was to play in our country, still I would like to separately thank our friends from Serbia and Belarus who were very enthusiastic in their applications. With all obvious advantages of Stark Arena and Minsk Arena there are many obvious difficulties that are difficult to overcome. First of all, playing abroad means formidable obstacles for Match TV broadcasts and sponsors advertising, especially the ones from bidding companies.

Kaliningrad seems the perfect location for us. The city has excellent arena which is built similarly to Basket Halls in Kazan and Krasnodar, still the region does not have professional basketball team – this is why we considered ‘non-basketball’ Russian cities first of all. We plan not to just play couple of games here but to push basketball development in the city and the region; arena, geography, airport, hotels, the region’s popularity allow to have the VTB League team here in the future. I’ve already talked to the Anton Alikhanov, Kaliningrad Region Governor, and made sure that we have full support from the city and region administration. We will use all club’s resources to play both games on CSKA trademark highest organizational level.

Hopefully, the fans from Moscow will be able to support us in the most Western Russian region. Probably, it can become a good direction for the New Year trip. Foreign fans and visitors can come easily as well, because to go to Kaliningrad Region you need an electronic visa.”