Barça beating the Lakers (Photo: Arxiu - FCB)

For the first time in the ACB era, the Palau Sant Jordi will host the 2012 edition of the basketball Kings Cup. The olympic arena, which was opened in 1990 ahead of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics Games, was designed by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. The building’s use goes beyond sporting events, however, as it has held cultural and business gatherings ever since 1992, and it has always been strongly linked to FC Barcelona. The Barça team has lived some of their most epic moments in the area (they used the arena for their Euroleague matches from 1990 through 1992).

Host of the first Euroleague

The Palau Sant Jordi was witness to Barça’s success in 2003 when the team, with a very young Juan Carlos Navarro, lifted their first Euroleague trophy after beating Benetton Treviso (76-65). The conquering team, managed by Svetislav Pesic, was led by Dejan Bodiroga, MVP of the tournament, after five unsuccessful title bids.

Two victories over NBA sides: Sixers and Lakers

In October 2010, the Palau Sant Jordi was also the venue in which Barça Regal beat the Los Angeles Lakers (92-88). The NBA team, with Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant, couldn’t overcome the packed stands (16,000 supporters) and Xavi Pascual’s men. That wasn’t the only time that Sant Jordi held a Barça Regal-NBA team matchup. In 2003, the arena hosted the Barça-Memphis Grizzlies (80-91) match and three years later, in 2006, the Barça team made history as the first Spanish side to beat a professional basketball team from North America. It was against the Philadelphia Sixers, Barça won 104-99.

Other events of note

Besides basketball, the arena, located in Montjuïc, hosted finals for volleyball, handball and gymnastics during the Olympic Games. The Palau Sant Jordi also was the venue for Davis Cup finals in 2000 and 2008, the World Swimming Championships (2003), and the Track and Field World Championships (1995).

 


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