Reigning NBL Champions Melbourne United will open their title defence against the Illawarra Hawks at WIN Entertainment Centre on Friday October 12 followed by the New Zealand Breakers at Hisense Arena on Sunday October 14.
The new look Brisbane Bullets will play Cairns Taipans in the Queensland derby, Perth and Adelaide will renew their fierce rivalry at Titanium Security Arena and Illawarra will play Perth to complete the opening round.
NBL Chief Executive Jeremy Loeliger said the league hoped to break the all-time attendance record for an opening round of 48,007 set back in 1995.
“With Andrew Bogut returning and a free agency period which saw a number of players move teams we are confident we will break the record,” he said.
Bogut, who signed a two-year agreement with the Kings after a stellar 13-year career in the NBA, will also feature in the first ever Melbourne Cup eve game between Melbourne and Sydney at Hisense Arena on Monday November 5.
“This game is set to ignite the rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney and should be another sell-out after a season of record attendances across the league last season,” Loeliger said.
“This is a very exciting time for the NBL and Australian basketball. The game is enjoying enormous momentum and we think the NBL is the second best league in the world after the NBA.
“We are committed to offering a world class entertainment product fans can enjoy whether they are watching in stadium or on broadcast.”
There will again be two breaks between November 26 and December 4 and February 18 and 26while the Australian Boomers take part in the FIBA World Cup qualifying games. Tip off times for all games will be released at a later date.