The Sal's NBL will soon discuss the prospect of future expansion after receiving four expressions of interest from teams looking to join the growing national competition in either 2023 or 2024.
The first stage of the EOI process, which ended at 5pm on October 22, saw submissions received from prospective teams across New Zealand.
The submissions came from:
• Queenstown (representing the Queenstown Lakes district)
• Bay of Plenty
• Tavake Pasifika
It was the first time the League has run an EOI process since 2019, which resulted in the Franklin Bulls joining the competition and the Otago Nuggets returning to the competition.
League General Manager Justin Nelson believes the interest shown from what he described as "four very professional submissions" highlighted the increasing interest in the 40-year old competition.
"Despite our need to pivot and adapt during Covid over the last couple of years, the Sal's NBL has shown enormous growth across every part of our business and we believe there is a discussion to be had around possible expansion in the coming years," said Nelson.
"We have enjoyed a considerable rise in commercial backing since 2019 and across the competition crowds and viewers are rising quickly, which matches what we are seeing at junior levels of basketball where participation is rising at record numbers.
"To receive four outstanding expressions of interest, all of them built around very strong commercial and community platforms, is incredibly exciting.
"The NBL Board will now proceed to look carefully at each submission and consider each one on its merits over the coming weeks, before deciding which ones they want to take through the next steps."
The NBLL has approved the establishment of a Sal’s NBL franchise bid review team. The team will comprise:
- BBNZ CEO
- (1) NBL Staff
- (2) Independent NBLL Board members
- (1) Independent sports professional
All EOI’s submitted will be reviewed by this group to determine whether the Sal’s NBL will extend an invitation to submit a formal bid. The League General Manager will communicate with all parties who have submitted an EOI to either invite them to submit a formal bid or inform them their EOI was not deemed suitable for further consideration.
Those parties invited to submit a formal bid will receive a ‘NBL Bid Document’ outlining the requirements for a formal bid. Formal bids for a franchise will be due by COB Friday December 3, 2022.
EOI Key Dates
October 22 – EOI due.
November 5 – decision made on applications to proceed to formal bid.
December 3 – formal bid due.
December 17 – new franchise or franchises announced.