More games across the weekend, games on New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve and a special heritage month are among the highlights of the schedule for the 40th anniversary season of the National Basketball League.
The NBL today released the schedule for the 2017-18 season which will start on October 5when the Adelaide 36ers play Melbourne United at Titanium Security Arena.
NBL Chief Executive Jeremy Loeliger said more games would be played across weekends in 2017-18 to make NBL as accessible as possible to the growing fan base.
“We’ve listened to the fans who’ve told us they want to attend and watch games on TV on weekends and this is a way of ensuring we showcase our biggest games in front of the biggest audiences,” he said.
“We saw an 11 per cent growth in attendances last season and with more games across weekends we are confident crowds and TV audiences will only continue to grow next season.”
There will only be two Monday night games in 2017-18, with more games played on Sunday. All games will be broadcast live on Fox Sports.
Highlights of the 2017-18 schedule include:
- The first ever NBL game on Christmas Eve between Adelaide 36ers and Cairns Taipans at Titanium Security Arena in Adelaide
- A game between Brisbane Bullets and Melbourne United on the Gold Coast onOctober 28
- A Boxing Day game between Melbourne United and Brisbane Bullets at Hisense Arena
- Two games on New Year’s Eve including the return of a game to Cairns
- A special heritage month in January to mark the 40th anniversary season of the NBL
- Grand Final Replay between Perth Wildcats and Illawarra Hawks at Perth Arena onOctober 13
- 10 games at Spark Arena (formerly Vector Arena) featuring the New Zealand Breakers
“This promises to be one of the biggest and most exciting seasons we’ve seen in the 40 seasons of the NBL,” Loeliger said. “Last year all but one team was in contention for the finals up until the end of the season and I’m sure fans are in for another highly competitive and entertaining season.
“Heritage month will give us an opportunity to celebrate one of Australia’s oldest national club competitions with clubs wearing heritage uniforms as part of our 40th anniversary season. This is great opportunity to engage fans old and new.
“Australian basketball has never been better. We have strong national teams, flourishing participation in the sport, a number of Australians playing in the NBA and strong national competitions that are among the best in the world.”
There will be two bye rounds during November 20-28 and February 19-27 so players can be available for FIBA World Cup qualifying matches.
NBL engaged KPMG and worked with KPMG Australia as well as the KPMG US Optimisation team leveraging their proprietary Game Scheduling Software, the same one used to produce the NBA 2016/17 season schedule.
Times for games will be released shortly and the schedule is subject to change.