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Tasmania Secures 10th NBL Franchise

A Tasmanian franchise is set to join the National Basketball League (NBL) for the 2021-22 season following a landmark agreement between the Tasmanian Government and the NBL.

NBL Owner and Executive Chairman, Larry Kestelman, and Tasmanian Premier, Peter Gutwein, announced today that the league’s 10th team would be based in Tasmania.

Under the agreement, the Tasmanian Government will become the sponsor of the new team and undertake a significant redevelopment of the Derwent Entertainment Centre (DEC) in Hobart.

The new Tasmanian team will play the majority of its home games at the DEC and also play games in the north of the state each year.

“Tasmania is a proud state with a rich sporting heritage and deserves teams in national sporting leagues and we are delighted to be establishing our 10th team here,” NBL Owner and Executive Chairman, Larry Kestelman, said.

“This will be Tasmania’s team and a team for all Tasmanians.

“We want basketball to be the number one sport in Tasmania and with an NBL team, we think we can achieve this.

“I want to thank the Tasmanian Government led by Premier Gutwein, the Glenorchy City Council and the people of Tasmania for their support and we now look forward to building a great team that all Tasmanians can be proud of.”

As it stands, the NBL currently has nine teams, with the South East Melbourne Phoenix the newest among the league’s ranks.

Tasmanian Premier, Peter Gutwein, said: “We have been clear that any deal for our state to have an NBL team of its own would need to represent significant value for Tasmanians, and the final agreements should see not only an economic injection of $102 million but also the creation of over 1,000 jobs.”

The NBL has enjoyed a remarkable resurgence in recent seasons with record attendances and broadcast audiences.

It was the only major summer sporting league to increase average crowds this season (8% up) and total attendances have also surged (21% up).

“The NBL is Australia’s fastest-growing sport and the best basketball league in the world outside of the NBA,” Kestelman said.

“Basketball is a global sport and an NBL team will put Tasmania not just on the national sporting stage but on the world sporting stage.

“An NBL team will also deliver important economic and tourism benefits for Tasmania and bring new jobs and investment to the state.”

The NBL has previously featured three different Tasmania-based franchises, all of which are defunct: the Devonport Warriors (1983-1984), the Hobart Devils (1983-1996), and the Launceston Casino City Tigers (1980-1982).