Credit: SPO Scanpix
Credit SPO Scanpix

President and Chief Executive Officer of CSKA Moscow, Andrey Vatutin, answered the questions of the team's fans and touched on topics like the potential to build a new arena for CSKA, the departure of Mike James, and whether the team is looking to improve the roster.

Vatutin said that the club is currently not considering building a new arena because, according to him, it wouldn't be cost-effective.

"Owning an arena is convenient, but the maintenance costs a lot. It does not make any economic sense for a basketball club to have its own stadium just to play matches. At the current level of ticket prices, it is impossible to recoup the costs. The use of such an arena for other events, like concerts, is very interesting, but potentially conflicts with the EuroLeague and VTB United League schedules.

We will try to play at Megasport arena but when it's busy - we will compete at the Krylatskoye Sports Palace. In the NBA, the teams have their full calendar almost a year before the start of the season, so they have a clear plan to keep the arena busy. So today, it is more economically relevant for us to rent an arena for EuroLeague and United League matches. It is best to train and work in your own building, though. Most Euroleague clubs use this model."

Vatutin also touched on the potential for the team to play home games in Kaliningrad again, just like it did back in 2020.

"We really liked playing in Kaliningrad, thanks to you, the fans. The atmosphere at both games there was indescribable. We would like to conduct such visits in the future, but at the moment this is not possible. A huge burden falls on the club - as you know, we transported all basketball equipment, including the floor and rims, across two borders. Also, the current Covid situation would not allow us to play in a full arena."

CSKA's President was asked about the team's favorite arena to play in as guests and named a few cities and teams.

"European journalists often ask this question. For example, in Tel Aviv or Kaunas, CSKA's visits are eagerly awaited. Personally, I have no principal rival. I know that fans single out Olympiacos for historical reasons. At the club, we just love to meet strong opponents."

Lastly, Vatutin talked about the team parting ways with Mike James and whether a new addition to the roster is necessary.

"It's a pity to lose such a great player. It was very interesting to get acquainted with the numerous arguments from the series “it was necessary to do this or that.” I assure you that we made every effort to reconcile both parties, but it is not always possible to agree on everything. We wish Mike, the best in his new team. As for strengthening the squad, we have not played a single official match yet. We need to understand our current potential.

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