Province supports Olympic basketball qualifier in Victoria

Toronto Raptor's Superfan Nav Bhatia with Education Minister Rob Fleming at Victoria’s Oak Bay High to promote FIBA Olympic qualifier tickets.

LOCALS and visitors to Victoria will be treated to world-class basketball when the 2020 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Men’s Basketball Olympic Qualifying Tournament tips off in June, with support from the Province.

“We’re excited to have the chance to watch some world-class basketball right here in our own backyard,” said Premier John Horgan. “We’re proud to showcase B.C. to the world in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This qualifier will give kids and young athletes the chance to watch and be inspired by some of the most talented basketball players in the world.”

Photos: BC Government

The Province is providing $350,000, through the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, to host the tournament. Games are scheduled for June 23-28, 2020, at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

“I’m thrilled this tournament is coming to Victoria and that we can showcase our province to people around the globe,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “We are proud to support sporting events which bring people together, strengthen community connections and stimulate the local economy.”

One of four FIBA Olympic qualifiers worldwide, this tournament will have six countries compete for a spot in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Canada will face Greece and China in Group A, while Uruguay, Czech Republic and Turkey play in Group B. The two semi-finalists will advance to the final, with the winner qualifying for this summer’s Olympic Games.

“On behalf of Canada Basketball, I would like to thank the Province of British Columbia for their support in helping to bring the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament to Victoria this June,” said Glen Grunwald, President and CEO, Canada Basketball. “Hosting a competition of this magnitude in Canada provides a home-court advantage for our team, substantial economic impact for the local economy, and will undoubtedly contribute significantly to the growth of the game at the grassroots level across British Columbia and Canada.”

Quick Facts:

* B.C. will host one of four 2020 FIBA Men’s Olympic qualifying tournaments, along with Croatia, Lithuania and Serbia.

* B.C. also hosted the World Baseball Softball Confederation Americas Olympic qualifier in August 2019 in Surrey and will host the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation Paralympic qualifier in Richmond, March 2-9, 2020.

* Sport tourism events draw 2.3 million visitors and contribute over $1.3 billion to the economy to B.C. annually. More than half of sport tourists are from the U.S. and abroad.

* Tourism is a major economic driver in B.C, generating $18.4 billion in annual revenues in 2017 and employing over 137,000 people.

Learn More:

Canada Basketball has announced that nine-game ticket packages for the tournament will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Jan. 31. Tickets can be purchased in-person at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre’s box office at 1925 Blanshard St. in Victoria or online: https://selectyourtickets.com/event-pro/fiba-olympic-qualifying-tournament-2020/

For additional information on the tournament, visit: http://vic2020.basketball.ca/

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