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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2011, 2:19 PM
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The National Basketball League of Canada (NBL) Thread

Quote:
Opportunity for Canada?

sportsnet.ca

April 21, 2011

PAUL JONES
Paul Jones is the voice of the Raptors on the FAN 590 and writes regularly for Sportsnet.ca.


The Canadian basketball program would benefit from a developmental league.

Is this the time to create a developmental league for Canadian basketball players?

You've heard many times throughout the year that teams have been upset with officiating. Well it's come to the point in the PBL where teams aren't going to take it any more and have decided to just leave the league leave the league.

The Halifax Rainmen, coached by former NBA head man in Denver and one time Raptor assistant, Mike Evans, decided that it's not worth it to play in a league where one team gets preferential treatment. President and CEO Andre Livingston pulled his team out of the league and his squad wasn't the only one as a couple of teams followed suit. He spoke about the entire situation on Sportsnet Radio The FAN 590.(Andrew Krystal Show)

This could be the start of something big in Canada. It has long been my assertion that Canada needs to have a domestic professional league to help development. College and university players that are 22 or 23 years old see their careers end far too quickly. If there was somewhere to play, it would be far easier to develop players in Canada. Presently, our Canadians have to go and fight for jobs overseas and they don't always find them.

Start a Canadian league similar to the CFL where imports are limited and you would see an increase in the quality of basketball in this country. There are logistics and challenges but its time that we get something going here in Canada. Call on the expertise of men like Livingston in Halifax and recruit the Saint John's team that is also looking for a place to play and start it up.

No it won't be the NBA but it will provide a place to play at home. The players may not be able to make a living entirely off playing in the six or eight team league and might have to hold down off-season jobs but you know what, it would be a start.
Source: http://www.metronews.ca/halifax

I think this is a great idea to create the Basketball equivalent of the CFL. This would be great for the teams in Halifax and Saint John and would allow for more teams in Atlantic Canada.

Last edited by q12; May 14, 2011 at 1:34 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2011, 2:37 PM
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Definitely a good idea.

So, franchises in Saint John, Halifax, Quebec City and possibly Moncton......

I wonder what other cities are possibilities? I imagine they would probably keep this an eastern based league for the time being. Perhaps franchises in Ottawa and someplace in southern Ontario?
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2011, 3:13 PM
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It was tried before - National Basketball League, but hopefully this time it will succeed. I think that the quota for Canadian Players should be kept fairly low (maybe 3 per roster) in order to maintain a high quality level (in order to succeed it will still need to attract high quality players).

I think that it might succeed with a western conference and an eastern conference. In order to keep traveling expenses down, there could be just a few interlocking games per season and then have the conference winners meet.

Andre Livingston has been great for promoting basketball in the Halifax area. (I wonder if he has an interest in organizing a CFL team in Halifax?)
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Old Posted Apr 22, 2011, 3:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post


Definitely a good idea.

So, franchises in Saint John, Halifax, Quebec City and possibly Moncton......

I wonder what other cities are possibilities? I imagine they would probably keep this an eastern based league for the time being. Perhaps franchises in Ottawa and someplace in southern Ontario?
That was my guess MonctanRad for the beginning. Locations that would help keep travel costs down. So maybe cities like Ottawa, Hamilton, London, or even Kingston, there are so many to choose from in Ontario. Monctan sounds very likely and maybe even Sydney. Also Montreal should be viable.

I wonder what the minimum number of teams would be needed to start the first season? 4, 5 or 6?

Last edited by q12; Apr 22, 2011 at 3:29 PM.
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Old Posted Apr 22, 2011, 3:30 PM
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This is a cool idea, when i first read it, i thought they meant a CHL type JR league which wouldnt be a bad idea either.

It would be pretty cool to have a CFL type league also though maybe it would grow to the same popularity and if it does just think it all started on the east coast
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Old Posted Apr 22, 2011, 8:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fenwick16 View Post
It was tried before - National Basketball League, but hopefully this time it will succeed. I think that the quota for Canadian Players should be kept fairly low (maybe 3 per roster) in order to maintain a high quality level (in order to succeed it will still need to attract high quality players).
I've been to some Halifax Windjammer Games, that was entertaining basketball.


Quote:
Andre Livingston has been great for promoting basketball in the Halifax area. (I wonder if he has an interest in organizing a CFL team in Halifax?)
Maybe he is just waiting for Halifax to build it's Stadium!
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Old Posted Apr 22, 2011, 9:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by q12 View Post
I've been to some Halifax Windjammer Games, that was entertaining basketball.
I saw the Windjammers play the Hamilton team at Copps Coliseum. It was a very entertaining game (I think that the Windjammers lost, although it was close. I was hoping for the Windjammers to win)

Quote:
Maybe he is just waiting for Halifax to build it's Stadium!
That appears to be in the works. If a stadium is built then maybe someone like Andre Livingston could run a community owned Halifax team (I would buy shares in a community owned team).
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  #8  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2011, 11:38 AM
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This is one idea I am actually strongly against as I simply don't feel it will work. The PBL has been hugely successful in both Saint John and Halifax mainly because the talent was far far beyond what anyone expected. The talent was so far beyond anything available in Canada, outside of the Raptors, that basketball fans wanted to go out. A Canadian league would have a very hard time luring quality players from the US and would end up with past CIS players, which already doesn't draw sufficient fans, and would quickly fade out.

Saint John, Halifax, and Quebec should be making their best case to join the NBA Development League and join a division with Maine and Springfield, MA.

Obviously the costs would be higher but all three Canadian teams have the attendance to support it (~4000 per game). This level of basketball (25% of current NBA players played in the DL) would draw even better attendance numbers.

Saint John would require full provincial support, and they could potentially play some exhibition games in both Fredericton and Moncton to get those fans excited. I know a lot of Fredericton folks came to games last year.

Although I think that some sort of Canadian league is most likely, I fear it will be the end of Pro basketball in the Maritimes. If we are going to use Canadian talent, I would rather go support a CIS team.
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  #9  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2011, 8:14 PM
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PBL replacement efforts underway
Rainmen, Mill Rats head to London, Ont., to explore potential franchise for new league

http://www.metronews.ca/halifax/spor...forts-underway

METRO HALIFAX
Published: April 26, 2011 12:24 a.m.
Last modified: April 26, 2011 12:29 a.m.

Five is the magic number for a budding Canadian professional basketball league.

If the Halifax Rainmen, Saint John Mill Rats and Quebec Kebs are going to form their own circuit after disassociating with the Premier Basketball League last week, they say they need to find at least two more franchises to make it work.

The primary targets are Moncton and London, Ont.

“We’re exploring (ownership groups) that have reached out to us and said they’re interested in having a franchise,” said Mill Rats president Ian McCarthy. “We had seven (teams) in the PBL this year and had a successful season, so the minimum is probably five.”

City of Moncton representatives have publicly endorsed adding a pro basketball franchise, while McCarthy and Rainmen owner Andre Levingston are travelling to London today to meet with a prospective ownership group.

“For it to be a Canadian league, we would want it to be more than just the Maritimes,” McCarthy said. “Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick would give us four provinces.”

In a perfect world, a new league would have two divisions, one featuring Maritime teams — the Rainmen, Mill Rats and Moncton — and another featuring the Kebs and additional teams from Quebec and Ontario.

Schedules weighted on intra-divisional play would heighten rivalries and reduce travel costs.

McCarthy also suggested Sydney and Charlottetown as ideal cities in the Maritimes, as well as Mississauga and Oshawa in Ontario. He also didn’t rule out the possibility of an American entry.

“We’re just trying to see how it plays out and which markets have real owners interested in joining, and seeing if it could work out to have that footprint,” McCarthy said.

“We’ll just see where it takes us.”
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Old Posted Apr 27, 2011, 6:31 AM
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Although my preference is for college basketball, this is worth a shot. Soccer kept trying over and over again. Maybe it's time for Canada to try a basketball league again. Western Canada seems to be basketball no-man's land, so organizers are wise to concentrate all efforts in the east.

Halifax
Saint John
Moncton
Quebec
London

I'm not sure if basketball is strong enough to support both a college and a pro circuit.
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Old Posted Apr 29, 2011, 7:43 PM
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London, Ont., interested in potential hoops team



A Maritime contingent hoping to form a new Canadian minor professional basketball league is encouraged after a trip to London, Ont.

“Things went really well,” said Saint John Mill Rats president Ian McCarthy, who met with an interested ownership group along with Halifax Rainmen owner Andre Levingston.

“The city is very eager to see if things could work there, if they could help and assist, and the arena is very flexible.”

The Rainmen, Mill Rats and Quebec Kebs are without a league to play in after dropping out of the Premier Basketball League in mid-April. They say they need at least two more teams — Moncton, N.B., is the other top candidate — to make a new Canadian league work.

McCarthy returned to New Brunswick on Thursday but said Levingston is staying in Toronto over the weekend to meet with other potential ownership groups in Ontario.

He said things are still in the preliminary stages and no deadlines have been set for moving forward.

“We’ll wait to hear what Andre has to say on Monday,” McCarthy said.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 1, 2011, 6:49 PM
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What about St. John's, Montreal, Sherbrooke or Ottawa? Also in the IBL there is a team in Edmonton and there was a team in Vancouver from 2008-2010. Also apparently the ABA is planning a Canadian Conference, but that league is run VERY poorly!
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Old Posted May 10, 2011, 2:45 PM
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Rainmen ready to say where they’ll play



METRO HALIFAX
Published: May 10, 2011 1:19 a.m.
Last modified: May 10, 2011 1:21 a.m.

The league the Halifax Rainmen are going to play next season will be announced later this week.

A press conference has been called for Thursday morning at the Halifax Metro Centre. A media release issued yesterday says Rainmen President and CEO Andre Levingston, along with Saint John Mill Rats President and General Manager Ian McCarthy and Quebec Kebs President Conrad Bernier, will announce which league the Canadian teams will join for 2011-2012 at the press conference.

This group had been hoping to launch a new Canadian minor professional basketball league and targeted Thursday for a decision on whether it will move forward.

The Rainmen, Mill Rats and Kebs all dropped out of the Premier Basketball League last month.
Levingston and Mill Rats president McCarthy visited London, Ont., recently and have met with representatives from a number of other cities.
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Old Posted May 12, 2011, 11:56 AM
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Looks like the cat is out of the bag and they will be forming a Canadian League.

I still have some doubts, but after watching the press conference this morning maybe they can pull this off. It looks like they are going to add three teams throughout Ontario and potentially a team in Fredericton.

Last edited by nwalbert; May 12, 2011 at 2:29 PM.
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Old Posted May 12, 2011, 5:50 PM
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Does a mod want to change the name of this thread to NBLC or National Basketball League Of Canada or something along those lines





Minor basketball teams take shot at forming Canadian league




A group of established basketball franchises in Canada are trying to create a professional league, starting immediately.

Andre Levingston and Ian McCarthy, who own the Halifax Rainmen and Saint John Mill Rats, formerly of the Premier Basketball League, announced the formation of the National Basketball League of Canada.

The league hopes to start play by October, with 7-10 teams operating in the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario.

“Over the next five years, you could see at least 10 kids from Canada getting drafted in the first and second round in the NBA,” Levingston said over the phone. “What better way to further that growth and give kids an opportunity than by forming a league in Canada, to help develop players and bring players from all over their world to help grow the game here.”

In addition to Halifax, Saint John and Quebec, the league has received letters of intent from ownerships from London, Oshawa, Kingston and Barrie.

“Now that we’re going public, we’re actually getting calls and emails now that are interested in owning professional teams,” Levingston said. “We have a lot of work to do. We have to do due-diligence on some other markets.

“When you have mayors saying, ‘Whatever it takes, I want a professional basketball team in our market,’ it is encouraging.”

Levingston added that there will be a quota of Canadian players required to play on each team, but also that the league hoped to draw professionals from various countries, including ex-NBA players.

The Rainmen play in the 11,093-seat Halifax Metro Centre, while the Mill Rats play at Harbour Station, which seats about 6,600 people for basketball games. Levingston said each of the arenas in the league will be somewhere in that range.

“It is the perfect size for basketball at this level,” Levingston said. “Anything bigger doesn’t really fit the business model of success for minor basketball.”
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  #16  
Old Posted May 14, 2011, 1:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Harlington- View Post
Does a mod want to change the name of this thread to NBLC or National Basketball League Of Canada or something along those lines
Yeah I second that request, sorry I just guessed at the the name CBA.

Great news, I think this league has great potential.





http://www.nblcanada.ca

Quote:

WALLING: NBL A POSITIVE FOR CANADA, IF DONE RIGHT

It's not everyday that one sees the formation of a new professional basketball league. That took place in Halifax on Thursday when the National Basketball League of Canada was born.

The prime movers behind this new initiative are Halifax Rainmen owner Andre Levingston and Saint John Mill Rats president Ian McCarthy. They had enough of the ABA (American Basketball Association) and the PBL (Premiere Basketball League) so they started their own league.

"It's time we look at teams from our own country and try to make this work," Levingston told TSN.ca. "We plan to have seven or eight teams at the start up and maybe more."

The Halifax Rainmen, Saint John Millrats and Quebec Kebs are the confirmed teams in the new league right now.

In addition to the Maritime based teams there is strong interest from another Maritime centre in Moncton and from London, Barrie, Kingston, Oshawa, Windsor and Kitchener-Waterloo.

"We have letters of intent from several places and lots of interest in from others," says McCarthy.

There also will be a Canadian content component as two of the players from each team must be Canadian. "We reach out to CIS players to join this league and become available for a draft," says Levingston.

This league was created as a result of the disappointments suffered by the Halifax Rainmen over the last three seasons, first in the ABA and then the PBL. The Quebec and Saint John team, formerly the Manchester, NH Millrats, had been in the ABA for two years and they had many issues with the leagues.

"These leagues simply weren't strong enough to give us what we wanted," Levingston told TSN.ca.

He's being very kind.

Players not showing up, teams folding, franchises here one day gone another were the norm for the ABA while the PBL proved to be a little more stable they had their issues with a team folding in season each of the two years that Halifax was in.

Levingston was simply not pleased about the lack of professionalism these leagues provided.

The league will play a fall-winter schedule which is different than in the PBL where they started in January and ran into spring.

Interest is strong enough that there was representation from London, Kingston and Barrie at the initial media conference.

Mauro DiVito represents the Barrie franchise and is very enthused. "Basketball is played by kids all over this country. We are looking forward to joining."

A representative from London told TSN.ca "everywhere you go you see hoops in the driveway and basketball is a 12 month a year sports with someone always playing it indoors or out. I feel London is ready for pro basketball."

The league calls itself the first full time Canadian basketball league but that could be challenged by the All-Canadian Basketball league that started in the late 80's and folded less than two years later.

The World basketball league was the league that saw the Halifax Windjammers thrive and had Winnipeg and Saskatoon as Canadian cities in it.

In fact, Halifax has led just about every league it has been involved in from the World league to the National basketball league to the ABA to the PBL.

Attendance in the first Windjammers season back in 1991 was over six-thousand including several sell outs in the Metro Centre which seats around 10,000.

Levingston's team was first or second in ABA and PBL attendance with 4000.


Ian McCarty feels it will take an attendance of 2500 to break even.
One of the guests for this event was Sam Mitchell; the former Raptors head coach, who likes the idea of an all-Canadian league.

"Why not? It's a global game and there are so many players available to stock the teams and this league. It is a good concept for this country," the former Raptor coach told TSN.ca.

The league plans to have things in place by June 15th. There will be a league office and it will be, for corporate reasons, in Toronto.

Mike Doyle who was part of the Halifax Windjammers in the 90's says this may work.

"If they can cut travel expenses which are the biggest cost then they have a shot.

"Teams fly to Toronto from the Maritimes and head out to Kingston, Oshawa and the other centers that are nearby. And the same for the Ontario teams should they land in Halifax and do Saint John, Moncton (should they join the league) and Halifax. It has lots of potential."


Saint John, Quebec and Halifax have a solid core of fans and have survived three years of minor pro ball and Levingston has learned that any ownership groups must have the necessary capital.

Stability is paramount. Halifax has been in two leagues in three years. Halifax is not a problem, the leagues have been.

This time they get to do it right.

A divisional set up would be nice with a Maritime / Quebec division and an Ontario in another. Some inter-division play with some games would be scheduled.

The bottom line is as many have suggested, there are so many that play this game. We have an NBA team in the Raptors, but this game is played by boys and girls, men and women alike all over this country.

I find it interesting that many of these centers are in university towns such as Kingston (Queens), London (Western), Quebec City (Laval) and Halifax (Dal and Saint Mary's). You could say they have a ready built in market.

Minor basketball, notably the USA version, has had rough and tough times over the years.

This, if done right can only be a positive step.

http://www.tsn.ca/columnists/alex_walling/?id=365599
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Old Posted May 14, 2011, 3:06 AM
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I like the logo

It will be interesting to see how a proposed franchise in Moncton would fare....

The #1 sport in the city is hockey (Wildcats, Commandos, Aigles Bleues). Football is also very popular (six high school teams & Mt. A just down the road, with the odd CFL game thrown in for variety).

Baseball is represented by the Moncton Mets and the Hub City Brewers of the NBSBL. The Mets can usually get about 1,200 or so out to home games (and it's a good atmosphere too).

Basketball is more of an unknown quantity, although there is a very active minor basketball program in the city with hundreds of players taking part(including all three of my sons at various points in time). All the high schools in the city have teams as do all three universities (AUS - U de M; and ACAA - Mt. A and Crandall).

Given all of this, there is the potential basis for a good level of support. The spectator interest however is more of an unknown quantity. The Mill Rats have done so well, that I have every reason to believe that a Moncton team would also succeed, especially with the natural rivalry with both SJ and Halifax.

I know the city is very interested in expediting a franchise. I imagine the hold-up is in forming an ownership group. It will be interesting to see what transpires.
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Old Posted May 14, 2011, 5:20 AM
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Well done Halifax, Saint John, and Quebec City. I never thought a Canadian pro basketball league would ever get launched, so kudos for trying. I live in Toronto, but will try to get out to Oshawa for a few games! 8 teams is a great start.
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Old Posted May 14, 2011, 12:28 PM
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Fredericton group exploring new hoop loop

Published Saturday May 14th, 2011

NBLC | Lamrock leads group gauging community interest for 2012-13 season

B1 By ANDREW HOLLAND

For The Daily Gleaner

A Fredericton lawyer and consultant is examining the potential of establishing a National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC) franchise in Fredericton.

Former Fredericton MLA Kelly Lamrock heads a group of 12 people who are exploring whether there would be sufficient community and corporate support to secure a team for the 2012-2013 season.

Lamrock, a former cabinet minister who served in the Liberal government under former premier Shawn Graham from 2003-2010, has coached minor basketball in the city for several years and is a major hoops enthusiast.

Lamrock has had discussions with both Saint John Mill Rats president and general manager Ian McCarthy and Halifax Rainmen president and general manager Andre Levingston, two of the founders of the new NBLC, which hopes to launch with franchises in Saint John, Halifax and Quebec which played this past season in the Premier Basketball League.

Saint John, Halifax and Québec City have left that circuit to become charter members of the new circuit. Other groups who have submitted letters of intent with the idea of a November launch are based in London, Barrie, Kingston and Oshawa, Ont. A Moncton franchise may also apply by the league's June 15 application deadline,

Lamrock describes the Fredericton group's interest at this stage as preliminary but serious. He admits the financial commitment would be "fairly daunting" but feels the Canadian League would offer a business model that makes better sense compared to the PBL.

Lamrock says it is possible that Fredericton could operate this fall but is looking at the 2012-13 season "as a more realistic goal.

"We want to make sure there is water in the pool before we jump in," Lamrock said.

"Minor league sports are not something to do to get rich, so we are talking to a number of corporate sponsors."

Lamrock believes basketball fans in the Capital region would be amazed with the caliber of entertainment. He and members of the group attended Premier Basketball League games this past season.

"I am very impressed by the Mill Rats and Rainmen organizations," he said. "They were model franchises in the PBL and are now building a league that matches their professionalism. So I reached out to them."

Lamrock was impressed by the entertainment package and the calibre of play in the Premier League.

"They make the event a great fan experience, particularly for young people. It is superlative and the level of basketball on the court is great," he said. "These players are fast and skilled and were very good to excellent in NCAA basketball. Some of them have NBA experience or are known to NBA scouts," Lamrock said.

McCarthy can vouch for the calibre of play

"These are highly skilled players," he said. "There are thousands of players coming out of the NCAA and only 450 spots in the NBA along with leagues in Europe. So there is an abundance of talent looking for a place where they can have fun, be in a good community, build their resumé and make a name for themselves."

The local group's first step is to assess whether there is enough community and corporate support and determine where a team would play. The most obvious venue is the 3,600 seat Aitken Centre on the campus of the University of New Brunswick, which has hosted the Harlem Globetrotters and was the home of the New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association basketball championship tournament for more than 20 years before the event moved to Saint John's Harbour Station this season.

Lamrock doesn't believe the team will hurt fan support for university sports in the city.

"I don't see it competing as much as creating a renewed interest in basketball here in the city," he said.

McCarthy said he was encouraged by the unsolicited expression of interest from the Fredericton group. He said it would cost a team roughly $500,000 annually to operate.

McCarthy and Lamrock agreed a Fredericton entry in the league would generate fan interest and stir rivalries between Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton.

McCarthy said the league is vetting the ownership groups of the five potential franchises. Each has filled out a 35-page written application and must submit an expansion fee. This process is to ensure applicants have the financial resources and credentials to own and manage a team.

"We are processing those applications now," said McCarthy. "They have to sign a lease with an arena before they can be an approved team."

The league hopes to announce its lineup by June 30. Teams will play a 30-game schedule starting November 1.

Last edited by Freddypop; May 14, 2011 at 1:35 PM.
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  #20  
Old Posted May 14, 2011, 1:30 PM
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This has the potential to be the CFL of Canadian basketball. But for that to happen it might have to endure for 10 - 20 years. Over that time the weaker markets will fold/relocate and stronger markets will join. Hopefully there will be enough dedicated owners to keep it going for the long term.

I wonder if a team would work in Mississauga or Brampton; it would be closer for me to get to games.
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