ALEX FAIR THE ADVOCATE Tasmania’s re-entry into the NBL in 2021/2022 has been confirmed.
The NBL and the state government’s agreement has been finalised, meaning the league will issue a licence for the state to participate in the 2021/2022 season.
The agreement includes the state government providing $68.5 million for the upgrade of the Derwent Entertainment Centre to provide the team a home base, which will include a $20 million for a community four court multi-sport facility.
Premier Peter Gutwein said the milestone agreement paved the way for Tasmania to have a team of its own for the first time in 25 years with a major construction blitz on the DEC to also provide significant benefits.
“This development will unlock significant economic development, attract investment and create hundreds of jobs,” Mr Gutwein said.
“This is how we’re rebuilding Tasmania, building on our strengths and providing opportunities for Tasmania including national league participation, to create new jobs, future investment and economic development.
“We’re proud to be a major sponsor of a Tasmanian NBL team and the opportunities it provides for grassroots pathways and player development in our state.”
NBL owner and executive chairman Larry Kestelman said: “This is great news for the Hungry Jack’s NBL and the people of Tasmania who have showed amazing passion to help bring this to life.
“The final agreement means we can start immediately on the next steps for the planning and upgrade of the DEC in preparation for a Tasmanian team to take to the court for the start of the 2021-22 season.
“I want to thank the Tasmanian Government, led by Premier Peter Gutwein, the Glenorchy City Council and the people of Tasmania for their support, particularly over recent months when we have all faced so many challenges.
“The Tasmanian NBL team will deliver important economic and tourism benefits for Tasmania and bring new jobs and investment to the state. Basketball is a global sport and the NBL team will showcase Tasmania on the national stage and around the world.
“In parallel with the upgrade to the DEC, we will now begin the process of building the club. This will include engaging with the local community to help choose the name as well as starting the recruitment of people to lead the club into the future.
“We will be looking to immediately recruit a CEO to lead the club and we will work closely with the Tasmanian Advisory Board and the local community to establish a team that all Tasmanians can be proud of, on and off the court.
“We have been encouraged by the interest from corporate Australia in becoming foundation partners of the Tasmanian team. We will progress those discussions in coming months and look forward to major Tasmanian brands getting behind their team.”
Tasmanians can register their support for their new NBL team at nbltas.com.au.