Australia launches bid for 2023 FIBA World Cup

Australia will launch a bid for the 2023 FIBA World Cup for men, hoping the recent popularity boom of the sport will help get them over the line.

The Pick and Roll’s Damian Arsenis first reported Australia’s interest in the bid in June, and has been confirmed by Roy Ward of Fairfax Media.

Basketball Australia Chief Executive Anthony Moore will represent the nation in Geneva this week, where Australia will go against rival bids from the Philippines, Germany, Qatar, Argentina and Turkey.

"We have progressed to the next stage, which is a two-day forum in Geneva this week," Moore said this weekend, via Ward.

"This is a significant event and an opportunity for us to have a look at how we might host it."

Anthony Moore and Andrej Lemanis | Credit: Damian Arsenis

Moore believes the recent success of the Boomers at the Rio Olympics, the Opals sustained excellence and the number of Aussies spread across the NBA, European leagues, college and Asia will be a key factor in Australia securing the tournament.

Along with the on-court success, the off-court factors of Australia's Asian-friendly time zone and strong record of adequately hosting international sporting events is also an advantage.

The potential that Australia would share the event with New Zealand is a real possibility, something Moore mentioned in June.

“We have a great relationship with Basketball New Zealand and [their CEO] Iain Potter,” Moore said, via Arsenis.

“One of our first phone calls would be with Ian to have a chat about that possibility. It is certainly something we would have a chat about.”

Australia last hosted a FIBA World Cup in 1997, when they hosted the men’s under-23 tournament. Before that, Australia was the host nation for the 1994 women’s FIBA World Cup.

The bidding process isn’t a straightforward task, as Moore and Basketball Australia need to work with the government in multiple areas. However, Moore is confident that Australia’s strong track record in hosting marquee international sporting events will assist them in the bidding process.

"We will get the formal bid documents and find out what needs to be included in the bid - what is of note is the government requirements," Moore said, via Ward.

"Our federal government has experts in their sport and major events section who have been involved in the Asian Cup, cricket world cup and netball world cup so the federal government is well placed to assist us.

"Now we have to find out what the ask is and come back and talk to government."

Moore started at the head position of Basketball Australia in 2014, and major progress of the sport has been seen under his watch. He is hoping hosting a World Cup would be the icing on the cake of the booming interest in Australian basketball.

“I have been in role since October 2014, fast approaching two years,” Moore said, via Arsenis.

“One of the key initial objectives was to ensure the organisation was better structured. Another was to define what, as a sporting organisation, should actually be done – what we should be doing moving forward.

“Last year we sold out Rod Laver Arena for the first time in 15 years with the FIBA Oceania series. It was simply fantastic for our sport. It also crystallised that this is what we can do really well – putting national teams on the court in front of our home fans.

“Any chance to stage an event to put our best players together – just like the farewell series against the Pac-12 All-Stars – that is what we do well. With that in mind, any opportunity to host a world event will definitely be investigated.

“I am excited about the potential to host the FIBA World Cup in 2023.”