Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ticket madness in Belgrade!

The popularity of Partizan Belgrade in the Serbian capital is reaching new and unprecedented heights a week after the team became one of the first three qualifiers for the Quarterfinal Playoffs in the Euroleague. To answer the incredible demand for tickets to see the team, Partizan requested a change of venue for Thursday's game with Panathinaikos of Greece corresponding to Week 5 of the Top 16. The venue change, from Pionior Arena to the 20,000-seat Belgrade Arena, was granted on Monday by Euroleague Basketball.

By Tuesday morning, incredible lines formed for tickets at Belgrade Arena, and before midday all 11,000 seats had been sold. An additional 7,000 fans with season tickets at Pionior Arena are alread ticketed separately for Thursday's game. Remerber, too, that neither Partizan nor Panathinaikos are in survival situations - quite the contrary. Both have already advanced to
the Euroleague playoffs, although the game could well decide which of them will finish first in their group and have homecourt advantage in the next round. The game also marks a homecoming for several Panathinaikos protagonists. Visiting head coach Zeljko Obradovic was on the Partizan bench for the club's only European title in 1992. Panathinaikos center Nikola Pekovic and forward Dusan Kecman both led Partizan last year to its first playoffs qualification of the decade in the Euroleague.

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