Bidding for the 2019 FIBA World Cup

FEEL THE GAME - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - March 13, 2015 - 12:00am

The World Cup of Basketball began in 1950 and like the Football World Cup and the Olympics, is held every four years.  The world’s best in these quadrennial events compete for global domination.

There were 17 stagings of the FIBA World Cup.  Hosting the events twice were Argentina (1950 and 1990), Brazil (1954 and 1963) and Spain (1986 and 2014).  Two Asian countries had hosted the WC, Japan in 2006 and the Philippines in 1978.

Together with France, Germany, Turkey, Qatar and China, the Philippines is on the FIBA final list of bidding countries for hosting rights to the 2019 FIBA Worlds.  Reportedly, France and Germany will be presenting a co-hosting proposal while Qatar is targeting the 2023 edition.  These six countries are also given the option to present hosting proposals for the 2023 edition.

Top officials of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the country’s governing body for the sport, are now finalizing the needed requirements for submission to FIBA to formalize our bid to host the World Cup of basketball.

The documents are called Final Candidature Files and they are to be with FIBA by April 30 of this year.  Following that are the signed Host Nation Agreement and Guarantees which are to be submitted no later than May 31.  After the submission of the documents, the FIBA Central Board will then require a 20-minute presentation from the bidders.  The winning host candidate will then be announced during the Central Board meeting on June 19.

FIBA requires that host countries can address players’ accommodation, transportation and security.  Facilities must be state-of-the-art and so far, and as per reports, SBP is going in the right direction.  As to player accommodation and security, it can be easily taken cared of but with regards to transportation, although we can provide, there is the worsening traffic situation to be dealt with.

Other criterias to be assessed are stakeholder experience in relation fan requirements in relation to accessibility to venues, availability of transportation, medical services, security and accommodations.  Also to be reviewed are broadcast coverage and corporate sponsors.

Sponsors will be more than happy to spend for a two-week event of this magnitude.  Likewise, hotels and pension houses will welcome the influx of international basketball fans and media outfits.  Car rental companies and taxis will jockey for position in hotel and arena parking spaces.  And yes, police precincts will have loads of reports as to lost and missing things and petty thieveries.

The overall impact of the event will also be considered by FIBA in relation to the host country’s capacity to stage a world class tournament, the sustainability of the infrastructures, the development of the sport and overall long-term economic effect.

Summing up all the needs, FIBA wants assurance from the host candidates that if ever chosen, the country can guarantee, counting all possibilities and considerations, that they can be capable not only in hosting this event but also have the capacity and capability to stage future FIBA World Cups.  They must deliver and succeed with their hosting of the tournament.

For the 2019 FIBA Worlds, 32 nations will be participating and up to five playing venues are required by FIBA.  The SBP have set their sights on the 50,000 seat Philippine Arena in Bulacan, the Smart Araneta Coliseum, the MOA Arena, the Solaire Arena and the on-going (is it?) SM Cebu Arena at the South Road Properties.

If the Philippines will be picked to host FIBA Worlds, Cebu will have the chance to see world class basketball right in its own backyard.  That backyard, the SM Seaside and the SM Arena will already be a traffic magnet when the event comes and as they say, progress comes with a big mess.

In our bid to host the basketball WC, we have already promoted and marketed the country.   I would like to hear a proposal from a senator to exempt the SBP and their subsidiaries from paying taxes.   On second thought, basketball ringside seats in our country are way, way cheaper than a mega boxing fight happening in Las Vegas.

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