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Tasmania secures new NBL team for 2021/22 season
For the first time in 25 years, Tasmania will have a team in the NBL following the league finalising its agreement with the Tasmanian Government for its participation licence in the 2021/2022 season.
The agreement includes a new home for the team with the Tasmanian Government providing $68.5 million for the upgrade of the Derwent Entertainment Centre (DEC), including $20 million for a community four court multisport facility.
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein advised “we’re proud to be a major sponsor of a Tasmanian NBL team and the opportunities it provides for grassroots pathways and player development in our state."
An in-principle agreement had been reached in late February, with the deal officially signed off today Thursday 2nd July.
While the new team's name is not yet known, Hobart Devils last featured in the national basketball competition in 1996 where they finished 12th of 14 teams.
NBL Owner and Executive Chairman Larry Kestelman said it was great news for the NBL and "the people of Tasmania who have showed amazing passion to help bring this to life.
“The final agreement means we can start immediately on the next steps for the planning and upgrade of the DEC in preparation for a Tasmanian team to take to the court for the start of the 2021-22 season.
“I want to thank the Tasmanian Government, led by Premier Peter Gutwein, the Glenorchy City Council and the people of Tasmania for their support, particularly over recent months when we have all faced so many challenges.
“The Tasmanian NBL team will deliver important economic and tourism benefits for Tasmania and bring new jobs and investment to the state. Basketball is a global sport and the NBL team will showcase Tasmania on the national stage and around the world.
“In parallel with the upgrade to the DEC, we will now begin the process of building the club. This will include engaging with the local community to help choose the name as well as starting the recruitment of people to lead the club into the future.
“We will be looking to immediately recruit a Chief Executive to lead the club and we will work closely with the Tasmanian Advisory Board and the local community to establish a team that all Tasmanians can be proud of, on and off the court.
“We have been encouraged by the interest from corporate Australia in becoming foundation partners of the Tasmanian team. We will progress those discussions in coming months and look forward to major Tasmanian brands getting behind their team.”
According to the ABC, Kestelman said he would encourage former star Andrew Bogut and other players to get involved in talks about ownership.
"I would be more than happy to have a chat to him about being an owner or part owner … we encourage ex-NBA players to get involved in all levels of our league and I think ownership is definitely on the cards.”
The current start date for the next season is 21st October with planning to begin for the upgrade of the DEC.
28th February 2020 - Agreement announced for Tasmania to host 10th NBL franchise
21st October 2019 - Hobart Chargers to join NBL1 competition in 2020
16th August 2019 - Larry Kestelman to head new NBL Tasmania Advisory Board
13th May 2019 - Basketball Australia and NBL agree landmark partnership
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