NBL: Brisbane must bite the bullet....again.
During the past week, the NBL released that they would be deferring free agency until (at least) the 15th of May. This is the second time they have delayed the opening of free agency, which includes the release of this season's Player Points System.
In addition to this, their latest major announcement is unfortunate for Queensland basketball lovers, in that there will in fact be no Brisbane based NBL team next season.
NBL Chairman Graeme Wade announced that despite the large following of basketball goers in Brisbane, the issues are simply regarding venue allocation and suitability.
“It is clear there is a groundswell of support for the return of a Brisbane team and basketball in Queensland has shown time and time again how popular the sport is in the state,”
“It is unfortunate that there is not a venue of the appropriate standard to accommodate an NBL team.
"The League is not prepared to put at risk the long-term viability of a Club by using unsuitable venues."
With Brisbane now back on the outer, how does this fare for the 'saviour' TV deal that was supposedly hinged on the new Brisbane demographic?
It was understood that the NBL saw the Brisbane Convention Centre located at Southbank as its preferred venue, however the ABC have noted that expenses/availability were the issues.
The club who vanished from the league over seven years ago, still has hope of re-entering the league. Albeit slim, Brisbane legend Brian Kearle continues to lead the charge in something that he is most passionate about.
From the investment side of things, Kearle mentioned that the lack of information given to his party regarding TV deals and number of competing teams made it extremely hard to pursue investors.
This leaves the same eight teams in the competition, no longer with a television deal, no online media deal (Perform out of contract) and a host of worried and cautious fans.
With Australians always having the view that their local national league is 'terrible' and 'useless', how does one turn this shipwreck around without having to shut up shop for a year (or more)?
With three premium sports in Australia (AFL, NRL, A-League), plus the addition of the Big Bash cricket to compete with, the NBL must find marketable theories, somewhat similar to netball's ANZ Championship if they are to find a sustainable solution.
Every basketball fan has an opinion on this topic; what the league needs to do is listen to the right people.