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Why doesn't the FIBA World Cup get more bids?


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This seems like the least burdensome major sporting event in the world. Basketball is the second most popular sport in the world. And it requires only six multipurpose arenas with a minimum of about 5,000 seats. Countries like Serbia should be able to host this using only existing venues.

So why aren't Germany, Italy, Australia, etc interested in bidding for it?

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I haven't even heard of a basketball world cup until now. But in doing a bit of research, countries like Serbia will probably need a lot more than 6 arenas now. The amount of teams for the next one (in 2019) has expanded from 24 to 32. China, the host for those games, are planning on using 8 venues.

So it's looking like the amount of countries capable of hosting the event has just diminished.

And it doesn't look like there was much interest in hosting it for the 2019 one, but the last one, in 2014, had 9 bids to host the event, with 3 being shortlisted. One of those 3 was Italy, which lost to Spain.

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Australia - I'll field this one.

While we do pretty good at an Olympic level our national league is a bit of a non-event. The NBA is far more popular here than the NBL (local league).

Basketball is a weird one here. We'll turn out in the thousands for netball, cricket, rugby etc. There is even an annual Ice Hockey tour of z-grade US and Canadian players that sell out the 10,000+ seat arenas. But basketball I've never really felt the urge to go watch a game - even at Beijing I did get a ticket to see the USA men's team play and ended up giving it up to go to the water polo.

I think there just isn't any interest in the FIBA event. The 2006 Commonwealth Games basketball tournament sold well - though that was staged in regional cities in 2,000 seat venues.

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Australia certainly is more than capable of hosting it with the arenas across the continent. Melbourne is Australia's basketball cradle with multiple venues to use at the National Tennis Centre and Etihad Stadium a stone throw's away to use. Sydney got several. Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, and even some of the smaller more regional cities like Canberra, Newcastle, Hobart, Gold Coast, Cairns, and Townsville can host some group games. Australia did indeed host the 1994 World Women's Basketball Championship as the Opals were on the rise international with its special class of players like Michelle Timms, Shelley Sandie, Robyn Maher, Rachel Sporn, and Trish Fallon who pioneered many young Australian female basketball players to play overseas as well as overseas.

Full disclosure: I also write posts for an Australian basketball website called Ozhoops using the same username for over a decade. I'm usually the only American on it and write frequently there. Admittedly, pro basketball still has marginality, economic, and structural issues down in Australia trying to permanently break through the Australian sports mainstream which rarely change since it rarely does. Yeah, there are many big NBA fans there with the success of the Australian contingent. But it's also important to have local basketball entertainment to deepen the national talent pool; it's a major reason why the NBL was created and started in 1979 as Australia sought to improve internationally. It certainly has.

I've known about the FIBA international event for many years when it was known as the FIBA World Basketball Championship, something I still call often. Just named the FIBA Basketball World Cup starting with Spain 2014 in a rebranding move and detach itself from the massive FIFA version so it won't be there on the same years.

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