Ottawa basketball franchise set to launch in 2013

Peter
Peter Kovessy
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Organizers are set to officially announce this month that Ottawa will be joining the upstart National Basketball League of Canada.

(Stock image)

The yet-to-be-named team will play its first season in 2013-14 at Scotiabank Place and may ultimately move to the Civic Centre once renovations to Lansdowne Park are complete.

The team will be owned by Bytown Sports and Entertainment, which is headed by Gus Takkale, a motivational speaker and author who is president of GTI Canada.

The Bytown Sports and Entertainment team also includes Denis Sabourin, the owner of Xactly Design & Advertising and co-owner of Bytown Media.

An individual involved with the franchise, who provided OBJ with information on background, said running a NBL Canada franchises will cost in the magnitude of $2 million annually. The team has not yet secured any corporate sponsors, he said, but will be approaching companies as the team takes shape.

The team will play 20 home games at Scotiabank Place. While individual ticket pricing is not yet finalized, season tickets are expected to cost between $350 and $450 for lower bowl seats and up to $1,300 and $1,500 for premium courtside seats, according to the individual who spoke with OBJ.

Official details about the team are expected to be released at a press conference scheduled for Nov. 21. Mr. Takkale said he could not confirm any details about the basketball franchise because many of the negotiations are ongoing.

The league is entering its second season and currently has eight teams in central and eastern Canada: Windsor, London, Oshawa, Montreal, Halifax, Summerside, Moncton and Saint John.

The individual who spoke with OBJ said the league averages between 3,000 and 3,500 spectators a game.

When the team takes to the court, they will be entering an increasingly crowded Ottawa sports market that will soon feature the Senators, '67's, a AA baseball team, a CFL football team and a professional soccer team, among others.

Organizations: Scotiabank Place, Civic Centre, Bytown Sports NBL Canada

Geographic location: Ottawa, Lansdowne Park, Eastern Canada Windsor London Oshawa Montreal Summerside Moncton

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  • Kevin Bourne
    November 10, 2012 - 20:23

    It's great to see OBJ reporting on the business of sports!