The capital of Alava to host the Final Four and other major sports events this spring
Sport is very popular in Vitoria. The city is full of large, green spaces which are ideal for walking, running and cycling. It also has a broad range of sports infrastructures all over the city, including community and sports centres, fronton courts, paddle tennis courts, and football pitches where people can do all kinds of different sports. The city also hosts a number of major sporting events every year.
This year Vitoria is the undisputed capital of basketball. In March this year, the city hosted the Copa de la Reina [Queen’s Cup] the most important women’s basketball league in Spain. This year Perfumerías Avenida came out on top. Vitoria is also set to become the focus of European Basketball from May 17 to 19.
For the first time ever, the 15,000-seat Fernando Buesa Arena will be hosting the EuroLeague Final Four, the world’s second biggest basketball event after the NBA.
During the Final Four, the semi-finals and finals are played at the same event. It is a major sporting occasion where, apart from the matches, the crowd can enjoy all the attractions of the biggest fan zone in Europe. There will also be meetings and presentations by the competition sponsors, and award-giving ceremonies for the best players of the year.
Vitoria follows in the footsteps of some very prestigious European basketball capitals including Belgrade, Istanbul, Berlin and Madrid. The success of Vitoria’s bid as host city was in large part due to the efforts of Kirolbet Baskonia – a local club that has been competing at the highest levels of European basketball for over 60 years and has a devoted following – and the city’s excellent infrastructure and facilities which make it an ideal candidate for hosting and organizing large-scale international events.
Undoubtedly, the 2019 Final Four will put Vitoria and the province of Alava on the world map as a city that lives and breathes basketball.
More information at: www.vitoria-gasteiz.org/vgbasketcapital
The Martín Fiz Marathon
Another high-profile sporting event in Vitoria this spring is the Martín Fiz EDP Marathon. On May 12, over 4,000 participants from all over the world are expected to take part in the seventeenth edition of this well-established race which is named after local marathon runner Martín Fiz, a World and European gold-medallist, and Olympic athlete who placed 4th in the Atlanta Games and 6th in Sydney.
Other major upcoming events include the Orbea Gran Fondo, a 173-km cycling race with an elevation of 3,100m, which takes place on May 25; the 2019 Vitoria-Gasteiz IronMan Triathlon which takes place on July 14 at the Zadorra reservoirs, Alava plains and on the city streets, where the 40 participants who go forward to the Hawaii Ironman will be decided. The home matches played by local premier basketball and football teams Baskonia (Liga ACB) and Deportivo Alavés (First Division Football) are also events that are well worth seeing.
More sport in Vitoria
The capital of the Basque Country is one of the cities in Europe with the largest amount of recreational green space per person. The city boasts over ten million square metres of landscaped parkland with a complete network of paths for cycling and walking.
This, together with the local interest in sport, has given rise to a city with a exceptional number of running enthusiasts. From an endless list of potential training grounds, we recommend Parque del Prado, a city centre park which is popular with runners. Or why not try “Vitoria en zapatillas”? By following routes designed by and for runners, you’ll get to know the city.
Thanks to its relatively flat terrain, Vitoria is also idea for touring and getting around by bicycle. And not only the city centre, there are lots of fun cycling routes on the green belt outside the city as well as on the outskirts.
Thanks to the city’s excellent sports facilities, Vitoria is often chosen by international teams and athletes for pre-season training and conditioning, as well as for team-building exercises. Swimming, martial arts, basketball, skating, hand ball, tennis, rock-climbing, paddle tennis and squash are just some of the sports that can be practised in the city’s municipal sports facilities.