NBL Breaks Attendance Records, Kestelman Flags League Expansion
The NBL has set a new record for its highest attendance in a regular season, while NBL Owner and Executive Chairman, Larry Kestelman, talks expansion and a possible 10th team in the league.
With a total of 714,346 fans attending games in 2018-19 and reaching an average attendance of 6,378 per game, the NBL has registered its most successful season in history – both on and off the court.
NBL Chief Executive Jeremy Loeliger said: “This has been one of the biggest and best seasons we’ve seen in the NBL since it was formed in 1979.
“Scoring is up but so are the number of close games and it’s little wonder the NBL is now considered one of the best basketball leagues, if not the best, outside of the NBA.”
The NBL will welcome the South East Melbourne Phoenix as its ninth team next season and Kestelman is keen to continue growing the competition across Australia, flagging Tasmania as the strongest contender.
Speaking on SEN’s Whateley program, Kestelman said: “I know they love their basketball down there.
“We have spoken to them and it is definitely in the mix but I think we need to have a conversation with the government about it.
“I think Tasmania, purely stand alone, might be a little bit challenging but I think a combination of real NBL support, local business support, fans and government, I think it is worth seriously considering it.”
The NBL season highlights include:
- A record 15 overtime periods – breaking the previous record of 11 set last season
- 58 games decided by single digit margins – over half of total games played
- Only the second time in NBL history that three teams have tied on wins at the top of the ladder
- An average of 90.4 points per game – the highest since 2009
- An average winning margin of 10.75 points – the lowest in NBL history