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Antibes opens new arena for thriving French basketball

The Sharks basketball team is now playing in its new home, the Azure Arena in Antibes, France. French basketball is upgrading its arenas in a planned fashion and, usefully, the French basketball team has just returned home as champion of Europe by beating Lithuania in the EuroBasket 2013 final in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Tony Parker was MVP. His training centre is part of the new Lyon Arena, due to open in 2014.

Designed by Auer + Weber + Assoziierte, the Azure Arena crams multiple sports into its 13,600m²: basketball, gymnastics, badminton, boxing, handball and martial arts. Configurations include: fighting sports using the bleachers (5,950 places), basketball games (5,200 seats), handball matches (4,000 seats), shows (3,700 people). There is a specific area for trampoline and a dojo for combat sports, gymnastics and schools use.

Back-of-house facilities include cloakrooms, administrative offices for the clubs, an infirmary, anti-doping rooms, massage room, fitness, shop, meeting space with a reception and its kitchens. Energy saving features include high tech insulation, 700 m² of photovoltaic sensors, 60 m² of solar collectors for the production of solar hot water on the roof, and regulation of drinking water consumption.