Blitz to provide litmus test for Brisbane’s NBL revival
With the 2014/15 NBL Blitz set to get underway in less than two weeks, the eight current NBL sides are set to step out on court in front of a nationwide audience for the first time since the end of last season.
However, as the clubs roll into Auchenflower, west of Brisbane, for the weekend hit-out, it is another franchise which will be looking to impress the most without setting foot on the hardwood.
A return to the NBL for a Brisbane franchise has been widely touted for the 2015/16 season, and the Blitz provides the basketball fans of southern Queensland with their first real opportunity to show their full support for a representative in the national league.
The Brisbane Bullets last played in the NBL in 2008, while expansion club Gold Coast Blaze carried on the torch for southern Queensland until 2012 before also dissolving after just five years in the league.
The Bullets in particular enjoyed a rich history during their time in the league, and with teams in all other major cities in Australia barring Hobart, the void left by the Brisbane franchise has been massive and is now one that the NBL is looking to fill once more.
A number of bids from a Brisbane consortium have been put forward in recent seasons but none have come to fruition as yet, while strong interest has also been expressed from Ipswich to claim a spot in the NBL.
All signs point to this changing in 2015/16, with NBL CEO Frasier Neill indicating that a Brisbane team will return to the league for the start of next season.
With all eyes turning to Queensland ahead of the Blitz tournament, in which teams will play for the adequately named Loggins-Bruton Cup, the weekend is looming as a litmus test for NBL fan support in the area.
While the turn out at the Blitz will not be the sole deciding factor in whether a Brisbane-based side is successful in making a return to the league, everyone is well too aware of the need for fan support in the NBL after a tumultuous decade has finally seemingly come to an end.
As the league continues to grow and the competition improves, the feasibility of any newcomers and the franchise’s ability to survive in the NBL environment only becomes even more important.
The success and popularity of the Blitz in southern Queensland is crucial, with the opportunity to attract a new (and old) fan base to the NBL on offer, and with the current product being at its best in over a decade there is sure to be plenty of support over the course of the weekend.
Brisbane’s NBL return in the 2015/16 season is well on the way to becoming a reality, and the basketball fans of southern Queensland have been handed a golden opportunity to ensure they are represented in the league once more.
The Blitz will be held between Friday, September 19th and Sunday, September 21st, 2014, in Auchenflower, Queensland.
For more information and to secure tickets, click here.
Thank you for loving Aussie hoops! From Kein, Damian and #TeamPnR