Professional basketball league eyes City

  • Jun. 26, 2013 3:46 p.m.

Professional basketball hitting the hard-court in Red Deer?

The Canadian Basketball League is looking to set up franchises in western Canada and Alberta is seen as prime ground to build on according to Anthony Vella who represents Cosmos Sports, an Ontario-based marketing firm.

“We found through our feasibility study the greatest appetite for basketball was Manitoba west and so that’s been our focus,” said Vella.

The group has also worked closely with Paul Sir, the executive director of Basketball Alberta in order to gauge support for the potential league which would see between eight and 10 teams split into two divisions and meeting only in playoffs.

Edmonton and Calgary would be natural markets along with Vancouver but Sir says teams could just as easily be based in cities like Kelowna, Saskatoon and Red Deer for example.

Vella says the best way to describe the professional league would be comparing it to the CFL model with the focus on Canadian players and some imports.

“So you would have six to nine Canadian players per team,” said Vella.

Another feature of the proposed league would be a $150,000 annual salary cap which would be a league regulation.

CIS and American college players would stock the potential teams in the league with some players possibly coming back to Canada from playing overseas, said Vella.

Vella said their study indicated Red Deer is a good potential market with the support for the game solid and if the right group showed up and was willing to take on the market the CBL would be interested.

He says a venue like the Enmax Centrium would be a very good fit for the league based on their business study.

The business model suggests a franchise would need to draw about 4,000 fans per game based on 15 home dates.

“We’ve had initial discussions with NHL and CHL teams and other parties that are interested,” he said when talking about investors with solid financial footing.

To date there hasn’t been any commitment but Vella said a meeting for interested investors is happening in mid-July in Edmonton and it would be at that time a deposit would be put down to get the ball rolling for 2014.

“I know how fans support hockey in Red Deer, fans are passionate and if the right ownership group came out of Red Deer then it would be a great market for our league.”

sports@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Alberta Election called for April 16th

Upcoming election will be about who is fit to be Premier, says Notley

Red Deer athletes qualify for Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru

The official Pan American Games will be held from July 26th to Aug. 11th

Local youngsters lend a helping hand to the Red Deer Hospital

First Steps and Beyond School students donate to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Red Deer RCMP arrest man during break and enter in progress

RCMP found two males in the parking garage attempting to steal a vehicle

Red Deer RCMP announce new Officer in Charge

Grobmeier has 26 years of service with the RCMP where he has moved through the ranks across Canada

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Here are five political leaders campaigning in Alberta’s spring election

Rachel Notley, Jason Kenney, Stephen Mandel, David Khan, and Derek Fildebrandt

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

UPDATE Leduc RCMP say sexual assault claim was false

UPDATE Leduc RCMP say investigation revealed sexual assault never took place

Fought to unite Alberta conservatives: Former MP Kenney ready to run for premier

Kenney, 50, was born in Oakville, Ont., raised in Saskatchewan, and spent his adult years in Alberta

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley wants chance to ‘finish that job’

Notley, 54, is the daughter of the late Grant Notley, who led the NDP from 1968 to 1984

PHOTOS: Massive fire at Wetaskiwin’s Rigger’s Hotel

Multiple fire departments involved, building badly damaged

Alberta government announces further easing of oil production restrictions

The government said it will continue to monitor the market and its response to the increases

Trudeau condemns hateful, ‘toxic segments’ of society after New Zealand shooting

Prime Minister expressed sorrow at the many attacks in recent years

Most Read