News

Townsville calls time

The National Basketball League can confirm that the Townsville Crocodiles will not field a side in the NBL 2016/17 season.

Despite producing a solid on-court performance in the 2015/16 season, the Directors of the community owned Club have elected to withdraw from the competition, which is a reflection of the tough economic conditions that have fallen upon the city in recent times.

NBL General Manager Jeremy Loeliger said that it had been a hallmark of the League since its change of ownership in 2015 to ensure that all teams within the competition were commercially sustainable.

“In order for the NBL to be one of the strongest basketball leagues in the world, we must have teams that are commercially sustainable – we cannot allow our players, fans or sponsors to have any lingering doubt as to the longevity of our clubs.”

“Despite the best endeavours of Townsville’s management and support team, the Board has resolved that there isn’t a viable business case for the Townsville Crocodiles to continue as part of the NBL.”

The NBL will manage the transition of Townsville out of the League and has confirmed all financial commitments made by the Club to players in respect of the 2015/16 season will be met.

“We will always do everything we can to support all of our teams to ensure this is one of the leading competitions in the world and we spent considerable time reviewing the Townsville situation and trying to generate local support for the Crocodiles,” Loeliger said.

“However, there is no point in trying to sustain a Club that has itself resolved that it cannot survive in its home town.  In reviewing the competition and contracting system in recent times, we were very conscious of not restricting the competition to cater to the lowest common denominator, but instead setting it up to be everything that it possibly can be. Queensland will still be well represented in the competition with Brisbane and Cairns.”

“We are looking forward to a fantastic 2016/17 season and will be announcing in the coming weeks several exciting initiatives that will showcase Australian basketball and the NBL to international basketball audiences in ways never seen before in this country.”

Jacob Holmes, Executive Officer of the Australian Basketballers Association said "The NBL and the ABA have worked tirelessly to try and ensure the Crocodiles continued in the NBL for season 2016/17, but these efforts have been unsuccessful in securing the financial and community support which a sustainable franchise in the NBL requires.”

“Looking forward, NBL players should be confident in the long term viability of their clubs. The ABA will continue to work with the NBL to ensure that our collective efforts are concentrated on the continued growth of the League and basketball in Australia."

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