Inspirus Sports Announces 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Multi-Team Event in Dubai, UAE Inaugural Dubai Basketball Classic

Inspirus Sports expands its successful concept of the Belfast Basketball Classic to the UAE. Organised in partnership with Dubai Sports Council, Falcon and Associates and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), the 2021 event will feature a high-profile field of eight NCAA Division I programs in a Multi Team Event (MTE) bringing the first ever ‘Dubai Basketball Classic’ to the state-of-the-art Coca Cola Arena, Dubai November 25-27, 2021.

For the first time in NCAA collegiate sports history, a Multi-Team Event (MTE) will take place in Dubai, UAE, and be broadcast to a global audience.  Inspirus Sports previously brought college basketball to Europe with its Basketball Hall of Fame Basketball Classic played at The SSE Arena, Belfast in Northern Ireland.

The 2021 event will feature a high-profile field of eight NCAA Division I programs in a Multi Team Event (MTE). The eight institutions will compete in two four-team brackets in Dubai while one early round game will take place in the United States the week prior to the games.

Inspirus Sports, a sports event company based in Northern Ireland, operates premium inspirational sporting events in communities around the World. Inspirus Sports has been working closely with Falcon and Associates and the MAAC to bring this event to Dubai with the goal of showcasing Dubai and its people to viewing audiences around the world and introducing top level intercollegiate basketball to the UAE.

The games will be hosted in the state-of-the-art Coca-Cola Arena in the heart of Dubai.  The 17,000-seat facility, in the upscale City Walk neighbourhood, opened in June 2019 and is the Middle East’s largest multi-purpose indoor arena.

This event will attract local fans along with a large traveling fan base from the participating university, all while being televised to audiences across the globe through Inspirus’ distribution partners.

“We are really pleased to add another exciting new event to Dubai’s sports calendar,” Saeed Hareb, General Secretary of Dubai Sports Council (DSC), said. “This is the first time Dubai will be hosting elite teams from the popular NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball and the country’s basketball fans will be waiting with bated breath for the teams to arrive in Dubai for the aptly-named Dubai Basketball Classic,” he added.

“We are so proud and excited to make this announcement today. This has been an exciting journey working with our partners Falcon and Associates and the MAAC as, together, we bring the world of NCAA College basketball to the people of Dubai. Our mission is to use the positive impact of sport to encourage generations of people to get involved, whether to improve their own health and well-being, to play, or to simply volunteer in a sports,” Gareth Maguire, Chairman, Inspirus Sports.  

“The MAAC is a proud partner of this event.  The MAAC’s mission is to showcase its member schools for their excellence in sports and academics. We are very fortunate to have this international opportunity to showcase collegiate basketball to the people of Dubai. We welcome the participating schools as the first of many to travel to Dubai and represent the best of what the collegiate basketball has to offer and would like to thank all of our partners for their help in making this a reality for the student-athletes who won’t forget this experience,“ said Rich Ensor, MAAC Commissioner who is in his 32nd year of leading the conference.

Greg Sproule, CEO of Falcon and Associates: “Basketball continues to grow in popularity in Dubai and the rest of the world, and college basketball is to many the most exciting of all. While college basketball is at the core of this event, our commitment to community engagement is significant and it stretches far beyond the three days of competition.”

Formal announcements surrounding specific team announcements, travel packages and ticket information will be released at a later date.


About Inspirus Sports: Inspirus Sports, creating premium inspirational live sporting events for a global audience.

Inspirus Sports has been created to build on the success of the first ever NCAA Collegiate basketball Tournament in Europe, the “Belfast Basketball Classic” 2017 & 2018 in conjunction with the Sport Changes Life Foundation. Inspirus has one clear mission, to bring this event series to a global audience to inspire communities through the power of sport.

Falcon and Associates: Falcon and Associates is an independent strategic advisory and implementation company established to deepen the understanding and appreciation of the vision of Dubai both nationally and internationally. Falcon delivers initiatives to help with the long-term strategic positioning of Dubai as part of the UAE by partnering with businesses and government departments to deliver specific social, economic and trade-related goal

About the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference: With 11 institutions strongly bound by the sound principles of quality and integrity in academics and excellence in athletics, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) is in its 36th year of competition during the 2016-2017 academic year. Current conference members include: Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Manhattan College, Marist College, Monmouth University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, Saint Peter's University, and Siena College.

About Coca Cola Arena Dubai: The Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai is the first and largest fully air-conditioned, multipurpose indoor Arena in the Middle East and the only Arena to operate year-round in the region.

With a capacity of 17,000, the Coca-Cola Arena has the capability to host major international touring artists, a full range of sporting events, family entertainment, comedy shows, exhibitions and gala dinners because of its highly adaptable design which includes a rolling modular stage, automated drapes and a retractable seating system that creates more intimate spaces for smaller-scale events.

The Coca-Cola Arena is equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system and almost 400 square metres of modular and ribbon LED screens. The roof structure can support 190 metric tonnes of production equipment meaning the biggest and best shows in the world can be easily accommodated. The entire façade of the Coca-Cola Arena is equipped with an LED strip light system that illuminates the surrounding City Walk neighbourhood at night and changes colour depending on the action inside. The Arena also includes 42 corporate suites which raise the bar for corporate entertaining in the region.

Situated within the urban lifestyle destination of City Walk, the Coca-Cola Arena is owned by Meraas and proudly operated by ASM Global, one of the world’s largest entertainment groups. Managing more than 120 of the world’s premier venues and playing host to the world’s greatest performers, ASM Global's absolute priority is to exceed the fans’ expectations.

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