Finns on verge of attendance record with 11,000 tickets sold for clash against Iceland
HELSINKI (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers) - Finnish basketball could have a new attendance record on July 2 with all 11,000 tickets made available in a pre-sale for the World Cup Qualifier against Iceland having been purchased.
SOLD OUT! World Cup Qualifier between 🇫🇮 vs 🇮🇸 in Hartwall Arena was sold out today! Tix for friendly 🇫🇮 vs 🇪🇪 in same arena on 25.6, go 👉 https://t.co/EDYIHJjb92. 🏀 #Susijengi #6pelaaja #FIBAWC #ThisIsMyHouse pic.twitter.com/FznIpUa3sz— Basket.fi (@basketfinland) June 8, 2018
The current record number of spectators at a home game stands at 12,327. That is how many were on hand to watch Finland's clash with Greece at FIBA EuroBasket 2017 in the Hartwall Arena - the same venue for the Susijengi Qualifier against Iceland.
The arena has 2,000 seats in privately-owned Skyboxes.
"I'm extremely happy for Susijengi and the whole Finnish basketball family," said Finnish Basketball Association Game Director Mika Mäkelä. "This is yet another milestone we can be proud of. We are going to have an awesome summer party on July 2."
One of the aims of the World Cup Qualifiers system was to have regular home games for national teams and Finland have already had two. The Finns fell 64-56 to the Czech Republic on November 26 but won 75-70 over Bulgaria on February 25.The Finnish side, which is coached by Henrik Dettmann, has a 2-2 record in Group F and is behind the Czech Republic (3-1) and Iceland (2-2) but ahead of Bulgaria (1-3).
Lauri Markkanen, coming off an impressive rookie campaign in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls, Petteri Koponen (Barcelona) and Sasu Salin (Unicaja Malaga) will play in the Qualifiers for the first time when the Finns take on the Czechs in Pardubice on June 29 and then Iceland.
Finland prevailed in a tight contest when they took on Iceland at the EuroBasket, winning 83-79 on September 6.Iceland, however, came from behind to stun Finland in the World Cup Qualifiers on February 23.