Hungry Jack's NBL
New ownership for Sydney Kings
The Sydney Kings are about to enter an exciting phase of growth and development under new majority ownership, AEG Ogden – the Australian operating arm of AEG. The Kings join other international professional sporting teams such as the LA Kings, Ontario Reign and Manchester Monarchs which are all owned by parent company AEG. The organisation also owns private shares in the LA Lakers. The change of ownership is fully endorsed by the National Basketball League. AEG Ogden is responsible for the management of the largest network of venues in the Asia Pacific region including the Allphones Arena in Sydney, the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Perth Arena, the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, the new ICC Sydney, Cairns and Darwin Convention Centres, Newcastle Showgrounds and Suncorp Stadium. The change in ownership would see Allphones Arena become the new home court of the Sydney Kings, with occasional games to be scheduled at the new ICC Sydney. AEG Ogden venues in Australia home to NBL teams now include; Sydney Kings at Allphones Arena and ICC Sydney, Perth Wildcats at Perth Arena, Cairns Taipans at Cairns Convention Centre, and the Brisbane Bullets at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and Brisbane Entertainment Centre. NBL Executive Director Larry Kestelman said the news was an extremely positive development for basketball in Sydney and the iconic brand of the Sydney Kings. “As a league we have taken huge strides in the 2015/16 season towards our ambitious goal of making the NBL the number one summer sports entertainment brand in Australia and New Zealand.” “AEG Ogden coming onboard shows huge confidence in the League and the changes we are making. One of the key priorities of the League has been to attract strong and professional owners (such as AEG Ogden) and this move endorses our model of venue owners and management owning teams.” NBL General Manager Jeremy Loeliger noted that the Sydney Kings are vital to the success of the NBL. “The NBL needs a strong team in Sydney to successfully be a truly national competition. The involvement of AEG Ogden is going to be key in reestablishing the Kings as a force to be reckoned with both on and off the basketball court.” “AEG Ogden is demonstrably committed to excellence. One need only look to AEG’s ownership of professional sporting teams in the US and Europe. We are pleased that the group are now focused, in Australia, on ensuring that the Sydney Kings provide a premium entertainment product to existing and new basketball fans, and I have every confidence that they will do so.” “This will also perfectly complement the return of the Brisbane Bullets to our national competition in the 2016/17 Season. The prospect of having five Australian capital cities represented and competitive is very exciting.” AEG Ogden Chairman, Mr Harvey Lister, said it makes sense for the Sydney Kings to secure a long-term home at Allphones Arena, where stability and financial synergies can enable the team to reach its full potential. “As part of the world’s largest owner of sporting franchises, US-based Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which has major ownership stakes in the LA Lakers, LA Kings and LA Galaxy, AEG Ogden’s acquisition of the Sydney Kings is a perfect fit in a worldwide family of leading sports brands,” he said. “In addition to its busy program as Sydney’s major concert and family event venue, Allphones Arena, is also focusing on marquee sports that inspire fans and ultimately drive increased attendances and revenues. “We are impressed with the direction of the new NBL competition, and are already experienced in operating home venues for NBL franchises in Perth, Cairns and, Brisbane, and are pleased to now include Australia’s largest market, Sydney”. “We also look forward to partnering with the NSW Government to introduce some unique experiences for fans from throughout New South Wales and drive visitation to Sydney for Sydney Kings games and to other marquee sports events at Allphones Arena.” AEG Ogden also announced that experienced NBL franchise administrator, Mr Jeff Van Groningen, will be Managing Director of the new Sydney Kings. “Jeff has an extensive basketball pedigree, having held assistant coaching and front office roles, including being the former General Manager of both the former Melbourne Tigers and Brisbane Bullets,” Mr Lister said. Mr Van Groningen, who has resigned from his executive role as General Manager, External Relations and Corporate Strategy for the NRL’s Brisbane Broncos to take up this opportunity said he was extremely excited at the prospect of returning the Sydney Kings to being a powerhouse in the NBL. “I will hit the ground running in identifying the best Head Coach, and now having the resources to attract the best basketball talent to ensure Sydney has one of the most dynamic teams in the league, I can guarantee that we will be competitive, and aim to present an exciting brand of basketball for the Sydney fans,” he said. The new Sydney Kings are expected to announce a new Head Coach and naming Rights Partner to relaunch the Sydney Kings at Allphones Arena in the coming weeks.