Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors to Visit Madrid as Part of NBA Europe Live Presented by EA Sports™
Posted Jul 30 2007 10:45AM
-- Toronto Raptors to make first ever visit to Spain --
MADRID, SPAIN, March 22, 2007 – The city of Madrid will welcome theMemphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors in October 2007 as part of NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™ the NBA, Euroleague Basketball and the Comunidad de Madrid announced today.
The Raptors will make their first ever trip to Spain when they take on Real Madrid on Oct. 11 at the Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid. The second game of the evening will see the Memphis Grizzlies returning to Spain to play against either MMT Estudiantes or Alta Gestion Fuenlabrada. The Boston Celtics were the last NBA team to have played in Madrid in 1988.
Toronto’s José Calderon and Jorge Garbajosa, both natives of Spain, will play in Madrid for the first time in a Raptors uniform. Spain’s most celebrated basketball player Pau Gasol will make his second appearance in Spain with the Grizzlies having previously played in Barcelona in 2003. NBA Legend Darryl Dawkins was present in Madrid for today’s announcement.
"We are thrilled to be bringing the excitement of the NBA back to Spain as part of the 2007 NBA Europe Live Tour," said Andrew Messick, NBA Senior Vice President, International. "Last year's event in Spain was a great success with fans able to experience the NBA close up. This year the NBA is bringing two teams - fans are in for a real treat."
“For the second consecutive year Euroleague Basketball is able to enjoy solid competitive games in the NBA Europe Live Tour,” CEO of Euroleague Basketball Jordi Bertomeu said. “Last year the NBA Europe Live Tour was a great success in Barcelona where the Philadelphia 76ers and Winterthur F.C. Barcelona played a great pre season game for all the fans to enjoy, and there is no doubt that this year will be equally successful. Euroleague Basketball is always happy to promote basketball throughout Europe and we would like to thank the ACB and Euroleague Basketball for participating in this event to bring the best basketball to fans across Europe.”
Santiago Fisas, Culture and Sports Councilor of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, showed his satisfaction for arranging NBA Europe Live 2007 to be held in Madrid. "The Autonomous Community of Madrid always tries to offer the most spectacular sporting events. In this case we are talking about the best of basketball with teams from the best basketball league in the world, the NBA, playing against teams from the current World Champions of basketball, Spain.”
"EA SPORTS™ and the NBA share a passion for basketball," said Jan Bolz, Vice President, International Sales and Marketing at EA. "We're excited to bring the NBA Europe Live tour back to Spain this year, creating a common platform for fans to enjoy the world's best real and virtual basketball under one roof."
NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™, will see a total of four NBA teams travel to six Europe cities in four countries. The Grizzlies will hold training camp in Malaga in the first week of October followed by a game against Unicaja Malaga at the Palacio de Deportes José Manuel Martin Carpena on Oct. 9. The Raptors will conduct training camp in Treviso, Italy, before playing the Boston Celtics on Oct. 6 and Lottomotica Roma on Oct. 7 both at PalaLottomatica. The Minnesota Timberwolves will hold training camp in Istanbul before playing a game against local team Efes Pilsen on Oct. 6 at the Abdi Ipekci Sports Hall. The O 2 in London will be the venue for a match up featuring the Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics on Oct. 10.
After the 2007 NBA Europe Live Tour, NBA teams will have played 41 games in 15 cities throughout Europe over the past two decades. The inaugural NBA Europe Live visited seven cities in five countries and drew more than 36 million viewers, 115,000 spectators, and 18 marketing partners in October 2006.