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Skydome Signs New Deal To Host Basketball

Coventry is to be the home of English basketball for the next three years in a deal that will also promote the sport to youngsters in the city.

Following the Senior Men's 61 - 53 win in Switzerland last night England Basketball has today agreed with the Skydome Arena to stage all international home fixtures for the next three years.

The announcement comes ahead of England's opening home fixture against the Slovak Republic at the Skydome on Saturday.

Coventry City Council has made a contribution towards the deal, to help the Skydome gain a footing in the basketball world, and to help the partners involved to gain future sponsorship.

Simon Kirkland, Chief Executive of England Basketball said:

"We're delighted to be bringing international basketball to Coventry and to such a great venue.

"The council's support has been vital to funding the deal with the Skydome and together we're confident that we can now secure the commercial sponsorship we need."

Mike Petrouis, managing director of arena owners Planet Ice, said:

"In the last few weeks, the arena has shown how truly multi-purpose it really is.

“We have hosted a careers fair, ice hockey and sold over 3,000 tickets for a concert.  We are very much looking forward to the first England basketball game on Saturday and this sponsorship is good news for sport, the city, the arena and the local community in Coventry."

As well as receiving hundreds of free tickets for the games through local schools, children in the city will get the chance to follow the international stars on court.

Monday and Tuesday also sees the start of basketball development with Coventry children. Eleven teams of 10 and 11-year-olds from local primary schools take centre stage on the full size basketball court to begin the arena's first  'Primary Schools Basketball Tournament'.

The finals for the winning teams will take place throughout the afternoon of 29 November from 2pm onwards prior to the European Championship clash between England and Latvia at 7.30pm.

The children have all had practice sessions with local coaches, clubs and the city council's Sports Development Team during extra curricula sessions throughout the year.

As a special thank you to the children, they are all being given tickets for themselves and two adults to come along to one of the games and see the England team in action.

England Basketball's Regional Development Manager for the West Midlands, Matthew Baird said:

"This is a great opportunity for local children to really get involved in a fast and exciting sport.  Working with our partner organisations in this venture, I am delighted that so many Primary schools have entered teams and I believe this will be a real boost for basketball development in Coventry."

Cllr Dave Batten said:

"I am delighted that the City Council are able to support and promote basketball in the city, particularly with the excellent facilities we now have in the Skydome Arena.

“Our aim is to work with our partners in this venture to ensure that Coventry and England Basketball enjoy a successful relationship for these internationals and for the local development of basketball in the city."

The ticket hotline for the England Internationals is 08700 119 119.

For further information about the Primary School Basketball Tournament please contact Jim Pollack, Coventry City Council's Sports Development Team on Coventry 024 7683 2482. 

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CWN / Tourism & Leisure / SkyDome Coventry / 23 Nov 00
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