ADD2021 EuroBasket

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
15 September 2016
Decision by: 
Amanda Coyle, Assistant Director, Health and Communities

Executive summary

This decision seeks approval to commit £45,000 from the Major Sports Events Fund towards delivery of the 2016 Men’s European Basketball Qualifiers and associated Festival of Basketball to be staged at the Copper Box at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


That the Assistant Director:

•    approves expenditure of up to £45,000 in grant funding towards the cost of staging part of the 2016 Men’s European Basketball Qualifiers and associated Festival of Basketball.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1     Background

1.1.1    The success of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has cemented London’s position as a world-leading host of major sporting events. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has also added significantly to the range of world class sporting facilities available for hosting events in London. A key part of the on-going legacy of London 2012 is ensuring that these facilities and others around London be regularly and fully made use of.

1.1.2    London has already secured a portfolio of additional events for the years ahead that will help sustain our position as a world-leading host and is in keeping with the stated legacy aims from London 2012, one of which is to ensure that the facilities built for the Games continue to be used to stage high-level international sporting events. They include the 2015 Rugby World Cup, 2015 European Hockey Championships, 2015 and 2016 Formula E Championships, 2016 European Swimming Championships, 2016 Track Cycling World Championships, 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships and IPC World Athletics Championships and 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup. 

1.1.3    Recognising that most major sporting events require some level of public support, the GLA allocated £2.4 million over four years to future major sporting events as part of the 2014/15 budget setting process. This Major Sports Events Fund supports the GLA’s major sporting events strategy for London, ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’, which was published in April 2014. 

1.1.4    This new London-wide approach to bidding for and supporting major sporting events establishes the Mayor’s Office as the first point of call for anyone looking to bring their event to London, and firmly establishes the Mayor’s Office as London’s strategic lead for major sporting events.

1.2       2017 Men’s European Basketball Qualifiers and Festival of Basketball

1.2.1    Following London 2012 there was a reduction in UK Sport funding to the British senior basketball teams, putting international participation in doubt.  

1.2.2    Basketball in the UK has subsequently undergone a widespread restructure, including the creation of a new National Governing Body (The British Basketball Federation) and appointment of a new Chair and Board (comprised of individuals with a strong track record of delivery in this area). The BBF has demonstrated to UK Sport that they have a strong understanding of what needs to be done to address basketball participation and elite performance in the UK and has consequently reinstated funding to the British senior basketball teams, setting both the men’s and women’s teams the target to qualify and medal at the 2024 Olympic Games.

1.2.3    This is an important development for the GLA as basketball is a sport with an enormous potential for growth in London. The GLA is keen to support the BBF to take the sport forward in London.

1.2.4    The first major competition entered by the British senior basketball teams under this new arrangement is EuroBasket 2017, the quadrennial elite continental basketball competition. The GLA has been working with the BBF and London stakeholders with the intention of hosting EuroBasket qualifying fixtures in London. The senior women’s team have already held their qualification matches in Manchester, but agreement has been reached for three men’s team qualifiers to be hosted at the Copper Box at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in September 2016 against FYR Macedonia, Luxembourg and Hungary.
1.2.5    Following EuroBasket 2017, FIBA (the international basketball federation) is creating a series of international windows (as per FIFA & UEFA) for nations to qualify for the subsequent European Championships or World Cup, so that the Great Britain senior teams will have a series of matches home and away three to four times a year in future.  The matches in September 2016 are therefore a precursor to regular elite level international basketball taking place in the UK and London will be a prime candidate to host these future matches.

1.2.6    The BBF submitted a funding application to the GLA Major Sports Events Fund for a £45,000 contribution towards the delivery of the three September qualifying matches and associated Festival of Basketball. The total budget for the events is £145,000, with match funding being provided by Sport England and further revenue being generated through ticket sales and commercial sponsorship.. The application submitted by the BBF set out how the event would satisfy the evaluation criteria set out in the GLA’s Major Sports Events Strategy, “London: Home of World Class Sport”.

1.2.7    A key strength of the proposal from the BBF was to use the event as a platform for growing the game of basketball in London at the grassroots and to build a strong fan base for the British senior teams. The event organiser, in partnership with England Basketball and London Sport, has arranged for a variety of activities to take place on QEOP in the build up to and during the EuroBasket qualifying matches, including:

•    Local community organisations to participate in outreach programmes aimed at getting more people involved in grassroots basketball, as well as encouraging community groups to run basketball sessions in the future;
•    Inviting local basketball clubs to take part in a tournament associated with the event (including coaching from Team GB international players);
•    Visitors to QEOP, as well as ticket holders for the elite matches will take part in fun basketball activities and will be signposted to basketball provision in their local areas;
•    Local basketball clubs will be on hand at all of the games to encourage attendees to get involved with basketball in their areas, through coaching and volunteering opportunities, as well what opportunities exist for them to play the game.

1.2.8    Evaluated against the criteria, it was deemed that: 

•    the Economic Impact of the event was evaluated as bronze; 
•    the International and Domestic Broadcast proposal for the event was evaluated as bronze. 
•    the Community Engagement proposal for the event was evaluated as silver. 

1.2.9    Overall, the event scored bronze against our evaluation criteria. It delivers against the key GLA objectives of: delivering direct economic benefit to the city through non-London based spectators visiting and staying in the city; increasing tourism by increasing exposure for London overseas; and of improving the health and wellbeing of Londoners, particularly through the establishment of a large-scale community engagement programme alongside the event. The EuroBasket qualifiers are strategically important for future basketball activity in London and will act as a base from which the sport is able to grow (at both elite and grassroots level). The GLA Sports Team therefore recommended accepting the request to award up to £45,000 and the GLA Events Steering Group (GESG) approved this recommendation at its meeting of 31 March 2016. 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1          The objectives of the proposed funding are to:

•    Support the successful hosting of the 2017 Men’s European Basketball Qualifiers and Festival of Basketball;
•    Support delivery of the GLA’s major sports events strategy, ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’;
•    Increase economic investment into London;
•    Increase international exposure of London;
•    Increase opportunities for Londoners to participate in sport and physical exercise programmes associated with major sporting events;
•    Assist the GLA in delivering against commitments to a lasting sports legacy following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 
•    Increase opportunities for Londoners to volunteer at a major sporting events;

Equality comments

3.1.    Every major event that seeks financial support from the GLA must demonstrate how the event will engage with the local community, in line with the GLA’s grassroots sport policy, ‘A Sporting Future for London’ and the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme.

3.2    An equalities impact assessment has previously been undertaken on the overall Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme.

3.3    According to the most recent Sport England Active People survey (APS 8 published in January 2015), levels of participation in sport and physical activity are variable across different socio-demographic groups in London. Across all 33 London Boroughs, average figures indicate that 43% of men participate in sport at least once a week compared to 32% of women. 37% of Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) people participate weekly compared to 39% of people of white origin. 19% of disabled people participate weekly compared to 40% of non-disabled people. 17% of people over the age of 65 participate weekly compared to 52% of those between the age of 16 and 25. 41% of people from socio-economic groups 1 to 4 participate weekly compared to 25% of people from socio-economic groups 5-8 (based on the National Statistics Socio-economic classification system).

3.4    Sports programmes supported by the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme engage significant numbers of women, disabled people, BAME people and people from lower socio-economic groups, both via sports participation programmes and training opportunities. We are seeking to increase participation opportunities for these groups through the Major Sports Events Engagement Fund that this event has also bid to.

Other considerations

4.1     Key Risks and Issues



Likelihood / Impact

Response & Mitigation


That the event does not deliver against London’s key strategic objectives

Medium / Low

The evaluation process undertaken in order to determine city support for events is robust and thorough.


Assumptions made in the BBF’s proposal were tested and challenged by the GLA and partners prior to deciding to offer financial support in order to ensure confidence that the event is likely to deliver on its claims.


The GLA will be represented on the event steering group to oversee operational delivery.


Another funding partner withdraws support, or projected commercial income is not realised, putting the event at risk, and thereby exposing the Mayor/GLA to reputational risk.


Prior to committing GLA funding, a comprehensive and robust event budget with evidence of commitment from a range of public and private sector partners was submitted, thereby ensuring that the risk is spread.  


That the BBF does not capitalise on the fixtures and bring future British senior team matches to London


Hosting these fixtures will demonstrate readiness and expertise that we are confident will persuade the BBF that London is ideally positioned to host future British basketball internationals.



4.2     Links to Mayoral Strategies & Priorities

GLA support for the event will:
•    support delivery of the GLA’s major sports events strategy, ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’;
•    support the aims of ‘Inclusive and Active 2’ strategy for increasing participation in sport and physical activity amongst disabled people in London; 
•    support delivery of the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme;
•    assist in meeting the objectives of the Mayor’s Health Inequalities Strategy; 
•    promote social development in London;
•    assist the GLA in delivering against commitments to a lasting sports legacy following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 
•    support the Mayor’s priorities around volunteering and his Team London programme.

4.3     Impact Assessments and Consultations

4.3.1     An equalities impact assessment has previously been undertaken on the overall Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme. Further information is available at Section 3 of this document.

4.3.2     In writing ‘A Sporting Future for London’, the GLA Sports Unit consulted extensively with over 400 individuals from over 100 different groups and organisations including national governing bodies of sport, the Pro-Active Partnerships, senior representatives from local authorities and a wide variety of sports clubs and community organisations. 

4.3.3     The conclusions reached received broad support from all key stakeholders and reaction to the plan itself has been very positive.

4.3.4    In writing ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’, the GLA Sports Unit consulted extensively with various national governing bodies of sport in the UK, Sport England, UK Sport, London Sport, relevant Local Authorities, LLDC, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, London & Partners, sports venue owners in London and Transport for London. The strategy has been greatly welcomed by all key London stakeholders and partners, as well as the key national agencies identified above.


Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for expenditure of £45,000 in grant funding to The British Basketball Federation (BBF) towards the cost of staging the 2016 Men’s European Basketball Qualifiers and associated Festival of Basketball.

5.2    This grant will be funding from the Major Sports Events budget.  

Planned delivery approach and next steps

7.1    The GLA Sports Team is working closely with the BBF and other stakeholders to ensure effective planning for the event and the associated Festival of Basketball.

7.2    Next steps are as follows:



DD Signed

August 2016

Funding Agreement executed

September 2016

Fixture 1

3 September 2016

Fixture 2

7 September 2016

Fixture 3

10 September 2016

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