Paris 2024 to seek new venue for preliminary basketball games

Organisers of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, together with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), have announced that a new venue will be sought to host preliminary basketball games during the event.

The Arena Paris Sud Hall 6 had been due to stage qualifying games during Paris 2024, with organisers choosing the venue as it ties in with the International Olympic Committee’s vision of using existing or temporary facilities at the Games.

In recent days, players on the French basketball team, which won the silver medal at Tokyo 2020, have labelled the choice of venue as “embarrassing”, with concerns having been raised over its low ceiling and potential lack of ventilation.

France international Nicolas Batum, who plays for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, tagged Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet and Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo in a Twitter post which read: “Are you really gonna let the best team sports of the event be played in this location?”

The Arena Paris Sud hosts the annual Paris International Agricultural Show and Batum’s post included a picture of a donkey from the event.

The latter stages of the Paris 2024 basketball competition are due to be played at the larger Accor Arena, while 3×3 events will be held at a temporary 35,000-seat arena developed on the Place de la Concorde.

Preliminary basketball games will no longer be taking place at the Arena Paris Sud Hall 6, with Paris 2024 and FIBA stating today (Thursday) that the latest technical studies show the venue does not fit the “specificities” for playing basketball.

Paris 2024 and FIBA have agreed to work immediately to identify a new venue that meets Olympic requirements while respecting the main principles that guide the Games in terms of environmental and fiscal responsibility.

Paris 2024 will set an Olympic first after plans were announced in December to stage the opening ceremony of the Games on the River Seine.

Organisers have outlined plans for the parade of athletes to be held on the city’s arterial waterway, with boats for each national delegation. The parade will come to the end of its 6km route in front of the Trocadéro, where the remaining elements of the Olympic protocol and final shows will take place. Each boat will be equipped with cameras to allow television and online viewers to see the athletes up close.

Image: Anne Jea./CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size