The summer season at the Copper Box Arena will get off to a ‘slam, dunk” start with the UK’s premier basketball team, the London Lions, announcing an International match against leading US college side Iowa University on 14 August 2013.
This is the first time since the 2012 Olympic Games that two club teams will play at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and one of the first major sports event to be held at the Copper Box Arena after it re-opens under the management of charitable social enterprise GLL on 27 July 2013.
The Iowa team is one of the top college sides in the US. Players such as Aaron White, Eric May and Roy Devyn Marble are household names in their native country, typically playing to crowds of 15,400 at their home venue, the Carver-Hawkeye Arena. One Iowa squad member – Gabriel Olaseni is a native Londoner and the August match will be an opportunity for Gabriel to play in front of friends and family.
The 7,500-seat Copper Box Arena was known as the “box that rocks” during the London Olympics and looks set to become one of the leading indoor sporting venues in the country. It is now the home base for the London Lions, who are the first legacy team to take residence on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This means that Londoners will have many seasons of top class national and international basketball matches taking place on their doorstep.
Lions coach Vince Macaulay said:
“We are delighted to have such a respected University as our first opponents at the Copper Box Arena, this is a storied programme that has produced terrific players for the NBA, it’s just the kind of test we need to get the ball rolling for what promises to be an exciting time for Lions basketball but also for GB basketball.”
Peter Bundey, GLL Deputy Managing Director said:
“I’m delighted with this curtain raiser to the London Lions season. It is a perfect start for the team and Copper Box Arena – bringing, high quality professional basketball to London. The Lions are great ambassadors for the sport and the Copper Box Arena is a fitting venue for them to inspire a new generation of fans young and old.”
“We believe that through increasing awareness of and participation in the sport, we can work to ensure that basketball becomes one of the catalysts to get Londoners more active; so cementing a true Olympic legacy.”
Dennis Hone, Chief Executive at the London Legacy Development Corporation added:
“The Copper Box Arena will once again be the “box that rocks” this summer as the London Lions start their season playing one of America’s top university teams. Last year we saw what a great atmosphere this venue can produce, it will be a fantastic place to watch London’s only professional basketball team shoot some hoops. The game against Iowa is a really exciting way to get the season started and a great opportunity for people to come and experience sport back on the Park this summer. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is opening in phases, starting with the Copper Box and parts of the north Park. We are on track to deliver a fantastic new destination and a lasting legacy for east London and are looking forward to the full opening of the Park in the spring next year.”
The Copper Box Arena in Hackney Wick is the first of the permanent legacy venues to open on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (27th July 2013).
Ticket prices for the London Lions vs Iowa University match will range from £9 to £42 and will be available for sale from www.ticketmaster.com from 28th June 2013. Season tickets to the London Lions matches at the Copper Box Arena are also available with prices starting at £110. Visit www.londonlionsbasketball.com for further information.