All nine NBL teams will be part of the upcoming season in Melbourne, with the competition’s commissioner announcing a Melbourne hub and a secondary tournament.
- The NBL Cup will be contested in the Melbourne hub from February 20
- The games will count towards the usual NBL season, as well as the new competition
- Fixtures and ticket information are yet to be announced by the league
The 2020/21 NBL season will begin on January 10, with five rounds already announced by the league.
All nine teams will then move to Melbourne to be part of the hub, which begins on February 20.
While in the hub, the teams will play each other once, before then going back to their home cities.
The NBL will then continue the rest of the season, playing games across the country.
Games in the Melbourne hub will count towards the NBL season, but will also count towards the new NBL Cup.
The team with the most points from the Melbourne hub games will become the inaugural NBL Cup winners.
NBL owner Larry Kestelman said the Melbourne hub meant the competition could be played in front of thousands of fans and generate excitement.
“After such a tough year with so many families isolated, it will be great for fans to be entertained live and on TV by our amazing athletes and bring some normality back to our lives,” he said.
“As permitted attendances hopefully increase up to 75 per cent in Victoria by early next year, this will be a great opportunity for tens of thousands of fans to enjoy a unique basketball event for Melbourne and Australia.”
Hopes new NBL Cup will deliver financial boost to clubs
In the Melbourne hub each team will play each other once.
Teams will get three points for a win and one point will be awarded to the team who scores the most points each quarter of a game.
The team with the most points at the end of the 36-game competition will be awarded the $150,000 prize.
If teams finish on the same number of points, the team with the most wins will then be declared the winner.
The runner-up will receive $100,000 and third-place team will take home $50,000.
NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said the revenue from playing these extra games would give clubs a boost after the coronavirus pandemic.
“The additional games will also generate much-needed revenue for our clubs during this COVID-affected year but are also a huge bonus for our fans and the game of basketball across Australia as we bounce back from an unexpectedly long off-season,” he said.
“Extra games are a great outcome for everyone, especially when so many sporting leagues in Australia and around the world have had to shorten or even cancel their seasons.”
The NBL said the fixture and ticket information would be made available soon.
Clubs expected to play 14 games on their home courts
After the bubble, the NBL season will continue with games being played across Australia.
In a statement released on their website, the NBL said it was hoping to have its teams play as many games on their home court as possible.
“The NBL’s intention, subject to COVID and scheduling issues, is for teams to host their customary 14 home games during the regular season, over and above the games played in the NBL Melbourne hub,” the statement read.
Loeiger said the Melbourne hub would also allow more time for the league to schedule games across Australia.
“Playing these extra games in Victoria will provide us with valuable time for restrictions on crowd numbers to continue to be eased around the country, hopefully allowing more fans to see their teams play at home,” he said.
“It also enables us to accumulate more games in an accelerated format should any unexpected issues arise later in the season.”
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